The Councilmember's district is the most diverse in the city, including the neighborhoods Atwater Village, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Valley, Glassell Park, Historic Filipinotown, Hollywood, Mid-Wilshire/Koreatown, Rampart Village, and Silver Lake.
Mitch began his public service in 2002 under the leadership of then Councilmember Eric Garcetti. Mitch’s experience as a field deputy, district director, and senior advisor to the former City Council President have provided valuable insight on how to make government work better for people across the 13th District.
Mitch was elected to office on May 21, 2013 to succeed now Mayor Eric Garcetti as the Councilmember of the 13th district. The newly elected councilmember held a ceremonial swearing-in event at Marsh Street Park on Saturday June 29 2013, and started his term on July 1.
Councilmember O’Farrell is the Chair of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee; Vice Chair of the Arts, Parks, Health, Entertainment, Education, Neighborhoods, and River Committee; Vice Chair of Public Safety; and a committee member of Public Works and Gang Reduction; Energy, Climate Change, and Environmental Justice; Public Safety; and a member of the ad hoc committee on the 2028 Summer Olympic Games.
Mitch is deeply passionate about giving back to his community, supporting families, the arts, habitat preservation, and open space. He has volunteered or held leadership positions in several non-profit organizations such as the California Wilderness Coalition, Project Angel Food, The Wildlife Waystation, and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, an organization that provides after-school classical music lessons to children in the Los Angeles Unified School District in traditionally underserved communities.
Mitch’s great appreciation for the environment and his surroundings were shaped by his upbringing in Oklahoma. A Los Angeles resident since 1982, Mitch has developed a keen perspective on the values and needs in both rural and urban settings.
Mitch was raised in a humble, working class family along with his brother and two sisters. His father was a union truck driver while his mother was an administrative assistant. His father’s job required him to drive out to Los Angeles several times a month, fueling Mitch’s dream to eventually move out west on his own. Mitch’s simple childhood has enabled him to realize the importance of having access to resources for a comfortable, fulfilling life.
As a member of the Wyandotte Nation Native American tribe, Mitch was sworn into office by Chief Billy Friend along the Los Angeles River on June 29th, 2013, and officially with the Mayor and his newly elected Council colleagues on June 30, 2013.
In addition to the rest of the 13th Council District, Mitch understands the importance of Hollywood, its history, and its brand as a unique one-of-a-kind destination place for the rest of the world. Mitch is working to enhance Hollywood’s reputation as a world class neighborhood to live, do business, and visit, as evidenced by his new HEART of Hollywood initiative. It is an economic driver for the rest of Los Angeles as the entertainment capital of the world and a worldwide destination for tourists.
The Councilmember is also deeply passionate about --and plans to reverse-- the degradation of the environment at the local level. He believes that Los Angeles has a unique opportunity to be a leader in addressing climate change through sound policy and investment toward a sustainable future. Mitch believes that Los Angeles’ potential for preserving our remaining wildlife habitat, and enacting thoughtful growth plans can enhance our quality of life in the built environment while greening our city.
One of Mitch’s most important projects is the Los Angeles River, the birthplace of our city, and a symbol of the endless possibilities it represents. The LA River was Los Angeles’ main water source until 1913 when the aqueduct opened. The channelization of the river began after the great floods of the 1930’s when it was transformed into a drainage system and the incredible post WWII population growth and development relegated the once great waterway to little more than a nuisance. Mitch is enacting the first Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD) for the LA River, the first in the city, and believes that the coming restoration and revitalization improvements will benefit Angelenos recreationally, aesthetically, and economically.
Mitch and his partner, George Brauckman, live together in Glassell Park with their dog, Speedy. As an avid animal lover, Mitch has made animal welfare one of his priorities during his time in office. Leading the way on the Elephant bullhook ban, and the Coyote snare ban, are two of his proud accomplishments. He sponsors pet adoptions on a regular basis and has always fought for additional funding for spay and neuter programs. His great respect and passion for animals has always been a significant aspect of his life. Mitch strongly believes that the humane treatment of animals makes us better human beings.
As an openly gay councilmember, Mitch has established strong ties within the LGBT community, including the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Bienestar, Equality California, Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention and Treatment, and other advocacy organizations. It is of tremendous importance to Mitch that no one regardless of gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious belief be marginalized in any way. Mitch is determined to work with the organizations to provide services to those in the LGBT community, promote advocacy at the local and national level, and to pay tribute to the great and long history of the LGBT community in the 13th District. Mitch has steadily maintained the visibility of all our diverse communities and is working for a more inclusive Los Angeles.