Mitchell Schwartz (public figure)

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POV! Template:Autobiography Template:About Template:Infobox politician Mitchell Schwartz(Template:IPAc-en; born December 10, 1960) is an American political strategist, environmental activist, and entrepreneur widely known for his work as the California State Director for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. A long-time Democratic Party campaign consultant, he founded and served as president of the Bomaye Company, a public relations and public affairs firm that has done extensive work to further humanitarian and environmentalist causes. Schwartz has most recently announced his candidacy in the 2017 Los Angeles mayoral election.[1]

Early life

Schwartz was born and raised in a middle class Orthodox Jewish family in Queens, New York. He is the son of Elinore (née Weisberger), a stay-at-home mother, and Bernard “Bernie” Schwartz, co-founder and owner of Jack Schwartz Shoes Inc., a footwear wholesaler founded at the height of the Great Depression.[2] Schwartz attended the Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn. In 1986, he graduated from Brandeis University with a bachelor's degree in history and politics.

Professional career

In 1999, after serving as the Director of Communications for the U.S State Department under Bill Clinton, Schwartz established the Bomaye Company, a public relations and public affairs firm that promulgates and promotes the understanding of local, national, and international objectives, particularly those from nonprofit and nongovernmental institutions. As president, Schwartz continued his public interest work in the international sphere, organizing town hall meetings for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, coordinating a UN basketball camp for children from the former Yugoslavia, and supporting the Save Darfur Coalition.[3] Under Schwartz, the Bomaye Company also coordinated the online and grassroots publicity campaign behind Al Gore's Oscar-winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."[4]

As a lifelong committed environmentalist, Schwartz additionally steered his company heavily into environmental protection campaigns. The Bomaye Company therefore has a history of working on the behalf of prominent environmental organizations, including: the Natural Resources Defense Council, the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, Global Green USA, Rally to Save Ahmanson Ranch, Coalition for Clean Air, and the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters.[5] Within a short time of founding the company, Schwartz was awarded a contract to launch the LADWP's Green Power Program, an initiative that has since become the largest and most successful green power campaign in the country.[6]

In addition to environmental protection, Schwartz has worked professionally in the energy efficiency and renewable resources industry. As a partner in Prometheus Energy Services, Schwartz aided in the development of the largest municipally-owned wind farm in the United States.[7] In 2008, immediately subsequent to his involvement in the Obama Campaign, Schwartz founded SK/Impact, an organization that collaborated with businesses, assisting them with accommodating and empowering the public demand for solutions in the energy efficiency, renewable resources, and green capital fields.[8]

Political career

Schwartz began his political career working in scheduling and advance for Democratic candidate Walter Mondale, the 42nd Vice President under President Jimmy Carter, during Mondale's 1983-1984 presidential campaign, and continued to do similar work with the Michael Dukakis 1988 presidential campaign. From 1989-1992, Schwartz served as a political consultant for various Democratic candidates running for elected office on the East Coast, including Connecticut Representative Rosa DeLauro.

In 1992, Schwartz became the State Director for Bill Clinton in the decisive first primary state of New Hampshire where, credited to Schwartz’s involvement, Clinton was given the sobriquet "The Comeback Kid", and ultimately received the Democratic Nomination. During Clinton’s initial term, Schwartz served as the Communications Director at the U.S State Department, where he served under Secretary of State Warren Christopher.[9]

In 2000, Mitchell worked on the Al Gore presidential campaign. Subsequent to the election, Mitchell began to direct his political capacities towards his adopted state of California, becoming imperative to the successful elections of Senator Barbara Boxer, Governor Gray Davis, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.[10] As a result of his extensive involvement in California politics, Schwartz was chosen as to be the State Director for the Barack Obama for President Campaign in 2008.[11] President Obama spoke about Schwartz after publicly announcing his appointment:

“I’m grateful for the support of Mitchell Schwartz. Whether it was as an advocate for human rights or the environment, Mitchell has worked tirelessly to change conventional thinking in Washington. A proven strategist with deep California roots, Mitchell will build on the strong support for this campaign that already exists across the state, and provide the leadership we need in California so we can change America.”[12]

Mayoral Campaign

After spending years independently analyzing the plethora of systemic issues affecting Los Angeles and resident Angelenos—problems including surging homelessness, rising crime, crumbling infrastructure, and “out of control” real estate development, Schwartz decided to seek election in the 2017 Los Angeles mayoral race.

Schwartz was encouraged to run for the mayoral position both by people inside of and outside of City Hall who told him that the city was not delivering basic public services. During his first term, incumbent Mayor Eric Garcetti vowed to use the powers of his office to rectify such problems. However, according to the Los Angeles Times in 2015, homelessness had risen 12% since 2013,[13] the year of Garcetti’s mayoral accession, and the Los Angeles Police Department announced in 2015 that violent crime had risen 20%,[14] both exemplifying other stagnant or worsening issues that the Garcetti administration has failed to address successfully if at all.[15]

The Schwartz for Mayor Campaign states that the "campaign is about making sure we get back to putting the people of this city first, and ensuring that we take care of basic and essential needs that will make Los Angeles even greater. This includes:

  • Making sure we have smart development and affordable housing — not just luxury housing that drives Los Angelenos out of our city
  • Restoring trust in government
  • Dealing with our beloved city’s crumbling infrastructure needs
  • Addressing the dizzying 20% spike in violent crime, and a homeless crisis that has reached epidemic proportions
  • Finding solutions to the choking gridlock on our streets and highways
  • Fixing an education system that is failing our students"[16]
  • Serving a full five-and-a-half year term

Personal life

Schwartz is married to Elizabeth "Lizzie" Rosman Schwartz, a former employee of the United States Senate Banking Committee who now serves as vice-president of Builders of Jewish Education.[17] The couple reside in Los Angeles’s historic Windsor Square neighborhood with their three children, Zachary, Michael, and Suzy, aged 14, 13, and 7, respectively. An avid sportsman, Schwartz has coached multiple youth baseball, soccer, and AYSO soccer teams at St. Brendan's Church, the YMCA, and Pan Pacific Park. Until recently, Mitchell served as the vice-president of the board for Temple Israel of Hollywood and the Temple's Day School and on the boards of the Westside Jewish Community Center and the Miguel Contreras Advisory Board.[18]

References

  1. Jamison, Peter. "Former Obama Campaign Official Says He Will Challenge Eric Garcetti in 2017." Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA), January 26, 2016. Accessed August 1, 2016. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/ la-me-ln-garcetti-schwartz-2017-election-20160126-story.html.
  2. Jack Schwartz Shoes Inc. Company History. Jack Schwartz Shoes Inc. Last modified 2014. Accessed July 29, 2016. http://jssi.com.
  3. Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. "Mitchell Schwartz." Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. Last modified 2016. Accessed July 27, 2016. http://lalcv.org/board-members/mitchell-schwartz/.
  4. Heimpel, Daniel. "Questions for Obama's California Strategist, Mitchell Schwartz." Jewish Journal, October 15, 2008. Accessed August 9, 2016. http://www.jewishjournal.com/elections/article/questions_for_obamas_california_strategist_mitchell_schwartz_20081015.
  5. Love-Your-Planet. "Talent." Love-Your-Planet Creative Communications. Last modified 2004. Accessed July 27, 2016. http://www.love-your-planet.org/ talent.htm.
  6. Love-Your-Planet. "Talent." Love-Your-Planet Creative Communications. Last modified 2004. Accessed July 27, 2016. http://www.love-your-planet.org/ talent.htm.
  7. "Utility Moves Away from Coal Addiction." Windpower Monthly, April 1, 2003. Accessed July 27, 2016. http://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/962453/ utility-moves-away-coal-addiction.
  8. Schwartz for Mayor 2017. "Bio and Events." Schwartz for Mayor. Last modified 2016. Accessed July 27, 2016. http://www.schwartzformayor.com/mitchell_schwartz_bio_and_events.
  9. Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. "Mitchell Schwartz." Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. Last modified 2016. Accessed July 27, 2016. http://lalcv.org/board-members/mitchell-schwartz/.
  10. Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. "Mitchell Schwartz." Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. Last modified 2016. Accessed July 27, 2016. http://lalcv.org/board-members/mitchell-schwartz/.
  11. "CNN.com - Transcripts". CNN. September 21, 2016. http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1609/21/cnr.17.html. 
  12. Peters, Gerhard, and John T. Woolley. "Press Release - Obama Campaign Announces Mitchell Schwartz as California State Director." University of Santa Barbara. Last modified August 16, 2007. Accessed August 1, 2016. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=91888.
  13. Jamison, Peter, David Zahniser, and Matt Hamilton. "L.A. to Declare 'State of Emergency' on Homelessness, Commit $100 Million." Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA), September 22, 2015. Accessed August 9, 2016. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-homeless-funding-proposals-los-angeles-20150921-story.html.
  14. Poston, Ben. "Crime in Los Angeles Rose in All Categories in 2015, LAPD Says." Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA), December 30, 2015. Accessed August 9, 2016. http://www.latimes.com/local/crime/la-me-crime-stats-20151230-story.html.
  15. Jamison, Peter. "Former Obama Campaign Official Says He Will Challenge Eric Garcetti in 2017." Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA), January 26, 2016.
  16. Schwartz for Mayor 2017. "Bio and Events." Schwartz for Mayor. Last modified 2016. Accessed August 9, 2016. http://www.schwartzformayor.com/mitchell_schwartz_bio_and_events.
  17. Builders of Jewish Education. "BJE Leadership." Builders of Jewish Education. Last modified September 1, 2015. Accessed July 28, 2016. https://www.bjela.org/bje-leadership.
  18. Schwartz for Mayor 2017. "Bio and Events." Schwartz for Mayor. Last modified 2016. Accessed July 27, 2016. http://www.schwartzformayor.com/mitchell_schwartz_bio_and_events.

External links

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