Mitchell Jack Schwartz
- Fixing the housing crisis by adding 300,000 new units in the next ten years, prioritizing affordable housing, workforce housing, and homeless housing.
- Reforming the Department of Water and Power by demanding Commissioners be elected, a truly independent Ratepayer Advocate, and greater transparency.
- Restoring trust in City Hall by refusing donations from PACs and developers, shutting down the "Mayor's Fund", shutting down my fundraising committee when elected, and serving the full term.
Mitchell Schwartz has spent his entire career serving the public interest. As a political strategist, environmentalist, and entrepreneur, Mitchell has successfully combined strong executive skills and communications expertise with a commitment to community outreach.
CLINTON AND OBAMA
Mitchell has spent more than thirty years in senior roles in government and politics at the state and federal levels, including important work in environmental protection and international affairs. In 1992, Mitchell ran then-Governor Bill Clinton’s pivotal primary campaign in New Hampshire that was credited in making Clinton the “Comeback Kid” and ultimately clinching the nomination.
During President Clinton’s first term, Mitchell’s strong communication and people skills led to an appointment to Communications Director at the U.S. State Department, where he served under Secretary Warren Christopher.
Mitchell has a penchant for working for candidates who speak to his ideals and vision for change and share his commitment to Democratic values. In 2008, Mitchell ran then-candidate Barack Obama’s California campaign.
At the conclusion of his federal government service, Mitchell tapped into his entrepreneurial spirit and created the Bomaye Company, an innovative public relations firm. His firm worked with nonprofits and community groups to help build public understanding of and support for important local, national and international initiatives, including the Save Darfur campaign. Bomaye also worked with the United Nations, successfully organizing events for U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and basketball camps for youth in the former Yugoslavia.
Mitchell was a partner in the development of the Pine Tree Wind Power Project in the Tehachapi Mountains. The wind farm produces 120 megawatts of electricity, capable of powering up to 100,000 homes here in Los Angele, while reducing 200,000 tons of carbon emissions.
As a lifelong committed environmentalist, Mitchell and his company worked with many environmental groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, the California League of Conservation Voters, and Global Green USA. He served as President of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters from 2007 to 2010.
Mitchell is particularly proud to have spearheaded the successful launch of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s “Green Power” program, which was the largest and most visible green power campaign in the country. And his company organized the grassroots and online marketing campaign of An Inconvenient Truth, former Vice President Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary on climate change.
Mitchell also has extensive expertise in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable resources. As a partner in Prometheus Energy Services, he helped develop and launch the largest municipally-owned wind farm in the United States. In 2008, Mitchell founded SK/Impact to help businesses and non-profits improve energy efficiency, expand renewable resources, and access “green capital.”
LIVING IN LA
Mitchell is the past president of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters and was a longtime board member. Until recently, Mitchell was Vice President of the board at Temple Israel of Hollywood, a past Treasurer of Jewish Family Services in Santa Monica, and was on the board of the Westside Jewish Community Center and the Miguel Contreras Advisory Council. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Lizzie, and their three children. He has coached multiple soccer, baseball, and basketball teams at the YMCA, Pan Pacific Park, and St. Brendan’s Church.
Restoring Trust in City Hall
A Five-Point Pledge by Mitchell Schwartz to the Voters of Los Angeles
A Message from Mitchell Schwartz
I have worked in politics and government for a long time. I have seen the power that special interest groups have at every level of government, and how it prevents real progress from being made. Politicians don’t stand up to special interests when they need them to advance their careers.
It’s time we had a Mayor who works with all Angelenos to further a progressive agenda that works for the people.
My pledge to the people of Los Angeles:
1. As a candidate for Mayor, I will not accept campaign contributions from any Political Action Committees.
2. As a candidate for Mayor, I will not accept any campaign contributions from developers.
3. As Mayor, after the election, I will shut down my campaign fundraising committee until January 2021 at the earliest.
4. As Mayor, I will immediately shut down the Mayor’s Fund.
5. I will serve the full 2017-2022 term without campaigning at all for a higher office.
Candidate for Mayor
Refusing PAC Contributions
Political Action Committees (PACs) are an easy way for special interest groups to use their money to exert influence over politicians. Often times they will hide behind a PAC with a good name to avoid controversy. Tobacco or oil interests might create a PAC with “Jobs” in the name. Meanwhile, only the politician and the special interests know what the contribution is really about.
As a candidate for Mayor, I will not allow these special interest groups to influence my decisions. I will not take any PAC contributions.
Refusing Developer Contributions
Over the past 10 years, developers have donated over $6 million to City Councilmembers, the Mayor, and other local elected officials. In return, the Mayor and City Council have bended zoning rules for these developers, leading to an excess of luxury housing over affordable housing, increasing traffic, and driving up the homeless population.
Shutting Down the Campaign Committee
The day after a politician is elected, he or she immediately begins raising money for re-election. Elected officials literally spend more time fundraising than doing the work voters elected them to do. That needs to change. By simply closing his or her fundraising committee, the Mayor would have no ability to raise money for re-election.
As Mayor, I will focus first and foremost on the people of Los Angeles and the job of Mayor. I will close down my campaign fundraising committee until January of 2021 at the earliest.
Shutting Down the Mayor’s Fund
The Mayor’s Fund is a non-profit based at City Hall that the Mayor raises money for, allowing developers and other big donors to get direct access to him or her. Special interests contributing to the Mayor’s Fund include AT&T, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, SoCal Gas, Verizon, Walmart, and Wells Fargo. Over $14 million was raised for the Fund in its first year.
While the Fund supports worthwhile causes, there are other non-profits that can provide the support offered by it. Let our philanthropic sector do what they do best. We need our political leaders to be responsive to all of the citizens, not just those who can write big checks.
Serving the Full Term
If you are always seeking higher office you avoid taking political risks. Los Angeles can’t afford a Mayor who isn’t willing to risk his relationships with special interests. As Mayor, I will commit to a full term in office, through 2022, without raising money or campaigning for any higher office.
After 20 years in Los Angeles I have become frustrated with what I know can be changed. In my view, the city of Los Angeles needs a progressive Mayor who is concerned with the success and well-being of all Angelenos and who isn’t afraid to risk upsetting moneyed powers.
In order to fix our corrupt system, we need to repeal the disastrous Citizens United decision at the federal level. But in the meantime, we can elect people who aren’t seeking higher office down the road. If I have the honor to serve as your Mayor, it’s going to be my only elected office in my life.
The Schwartz Housing Plan
Housing is the most pressing issue facing Los Angeles. Los Angeles suffers fromanacute shortage of housing, from houses for middle-income families to three-and four-bedroom apartments for working-class families to studios for young people to single resident occupancy units for very low-income individuals. For decades, the city has failed to address this issue in a strategic, comprehensive manner, and the result is an enormous problem that impacts millions of residents today, creates growing social problems, and will choke off economic growth in the near future. For LA’s future prosperity and the well being of its residents, addressing and solving the housing dilemma is the most urgent task facing the city.
1. Establish transparency by removing political money from development decisions
- Disclose campaign donations to city elected officials within 48 hours.
- Limit contributions from developers.
2. Create a “housing czar” to coordinate efforts across departments
- This office will establish achievable goals and timetables and hold departments accountable for results.
3. Update general plan and all community plans within four years.
- Establish immediate neighborhood dialogues with city planners and developers.
- Review zoning for industrial and commercials areas.
4. Review impact fees, borrowing costs, and other expenses developers face
- Establish a working committee of developers, planners, and community members to identify ways to reduce the cost of building homes.
5. Review incentive programs for creating housing for working families
- Implement recommendations recently made by City Controller Ron Galperin to improve the effectiveness of the density bonus program.
6. Streamline city and state regulation.
- Make reasonable revisions to prevent misuse of CEQA requirements.
- Establish a public/private task force to identify unnecessary, duplicative, and overly cumbersome city regulations.
7. Encourage innovation, new ideas, and new technologies to solve the crisis.
- Draw on the experience of successful new concepts and efforts elsewhere in the country.
- Use the incredible intellectual resources of UCLA, USC, CalState Northridge, and CalState LA to develop housing strategies that are reasonable and achievable and make economic sense.
8. Make the private and nonprofit sectors full partners in the housing effort.
- Use their expertise to closely examine and evaluate such issues as approval processes, city fee structure, special requirements, and zoning with the goal of increasing housing in Los Angeles.
- Work with developers, economists and urbanists to craft a reasonable package of incentives and requirements that stimulate a diverse portfolio of housing production at reasonable costs and maximum return – particularly reasonably priced housing for middle- and low-income families.
9. Explore mechanisms to leverage the enormous investment potential of city, county and state pension funds to finance new housing
Read the full study at www.SchwartzForMayor.com/housing-plan.
You know it, I know it: our city isn't working right. Los Angeles is run by career politicians for developers, downtown interests, and connected insiders - but this city should be run on behalf of you. We need to demand change!
Politicians like Eric Garcetti pander to the rich and powerful because they need the money to run for the next, higher office. The whole system is corrupt and we need to demand change.
We, the residents of Los Angeles, own the DWP - but no one is accountable to residents of Los Angeles. My plan to fix DWP is a three-point Owners Bill of Rights.
We need to build more houses and apartments - as Mayor, I will build 300,000 more reasonably priced housing units in the next 10 days. We will do this by expanding in downtown and commercial and industrial areas. We can make LA more affordable for working families and even reduce homelessness.