The Community Development Clinic was honored to host Mayor Jon Mitchell this month at the Community Development Lecture at UMass Law. The lecture was followed by a reception.
Throughout his term in office, Mayor Mitchell has sought to re-establish New Bedford as one of the leading cities in the Northeast. He has moved aggressively to reform the city’s schools, improve public safety, modernize the port, and to elevate the quality of life in every neighborhood. Under Mayor Mitchell’s leadership the City has achieved both the highest bond rating and highest high school graduate rate in its history, lowered crime by nearly forty percent, secured hundreds of millions of dollars in investment, and positioned itself to become the leader in the emerging offshore wind industry. Mayor Mitchell graduated from Harvard College and the George Washington Law School. Before running for Mayor in New Bedford, Mayor Mitchell was also an Assistant United States Attorney in Boston, having previously served as a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C. in the Attorney General’s Honor Program.
Hosting Mayor Mitchell for a lecture on community development and law was an excellent way to learn more about important issues related to legal and social justice local to UMass law students. A knowledgeable and experienced speaker, Mayor Mitchell provided valuable insights and perspectives on topics such as how law and policy affect communities, strategies for promoting community development, and approaches to addressing social and economic inequalities. For UMass Law students involved in law and social justice, this event broadened understanding of local legal and social justice issues.
During the lecture, Mayor Mitchell spoke at length about New Bedford’s emerging leadership role as a producer of offshore wind energy, along with the complex legal and political frameworks that accompanies such developments. The development of offshore wind energy requires navigating complex legal frameworks at both the national and international levels, as well as addressing environmental concerns, energy policy, and economic considerations. Laws and regulations related to the permitting, construction, and operation of offshore wind projects must be carefully crafted to ensure that they balance the needs of various stakeholders, including developers, governments, and communities. Moreover, the development of offshore wind energy has the potential to create jobs and stimulate economic growth in the areas where the projects are located. The legal frameworks around offshore wind energy are constantly evolving, as governments and stakeholders work to find the best ways to promote the growth of this important renewable energy source while also protecting the environment and addressing social and economic issues. UMass Law looks forward to further partnerships with the area’s entrepreneurs and social change makers as this sector grows.