Is New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell on the Biden List? [OPINION]
If the President of the United States calls, you answer the call. If President-Elect Joe Biden wants Jon Mitchell in his administration, the Mayor of New Bedford should respond in the positive.
Jon Mitchell has lots to offer the new Biden-Harris Administration and the people of America. The people of New Bedford shouldn't regret seeing him move on if he does answer a call from our president; they should be honored.
The voters of New Bedford elevated Jon Mitchell to the position he is in today. The folks of New Bedford took a chance on a new political candidate over some other well-established candidates when they elected him mayor.
Mitchell, a Harvard graduate and a former military officer, served as an assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston. He prosecuted criminals and he was the head of the task force looking to find James "Whitey" Bulger. He threw his hat into the political ring for the first time when he ran for mayor. He beat City Councilor Linda Morad and State Representative Antonio Cabral in 2011 for the mayorship being vacated by long-serving Mayor Scott W. Lang.
Since being elected mayor, the former federal prosecutor has had some major victories for his city and he has dealt with some major crisis situations. He has worked with the developing offshore wind industry and the centuries-old fishing industry. He has worked to make solar energy a reality for the city.
But his biggest strength has been in crisis management. In particular, the mayor and his team have been managing and mitigating rather than reacting and finger-pointing during the COVID-19 pandemic and the national reactions to the death of George Floyd.
Mayor Mitchell used his powers as mayor to create hundreds of additional medical beds for COVID-19 patients when he created a public-private partnership with some nursing homes. He is the only local official, as far as I can discover, who acted in a proactive way in our entire nation.
While other cities burned in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Mayor Mitchell worked with activists, police officers, and seasoned community members to have a constructive conversation. He put together a blue-ribbon commission to look at his police department's use of force policies. No violence, no arson, and lots of inclusiveness.
It would be smart of the Biden-Harris Administration to draft Mayor Jon Mitchell. But who can fill his shoes?
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.