Taking office in January 2012, Jon Mitchell is New Bedford’s thirty-eighth mayor. In November 2013, he was the first sitting New Bedford mayor since 1866 not to be opposed for reelection. He was re-elected again in November 2015 by a decisive margin. Jon has sought to re-establish New Bedford as one of the leading cities in the Northeast. Since he took office, New Bedford has moved aggressively to reform its school system, to modernize its port, to strengthen city services and finances, and to raise the quality of life of every neighborhood. Under Jon’s leadership, New Bedford has emerged as a national leader in renewable energy, and has twice led all American cities in its annual unemployment rate declining.
Jon has made city government more efficient though effective management, and now the city has the highest bond rating in its history. The city also has modernized its trash recycling system, retrofitted nearly 10,000 street lights with LED bulbs, and reigned in health care costs, all saving millions in taxpayer dollars. For these and other accomplishments during his tenure in office, the New Bedford Standard-Times named Jon the “2015 SouthCoast Man of the Year.” Jon’s roots are deeply imbedded in New Bedford. He was born in the city, and hails from a local fishing family that included his grandfather, Alexander Mitchell, whose name is inscribed at the Seaman’s Bethel among local fisherman lost to the sea. The son of public school teachers, Jon was raised in New Bedford and North Dartmouth, and attended local public schools.