Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander announced Thursday he will step down at the end of the year to take a job in the private sector.
Englander has represented the 12th District in the San Fernando Valley since 2011, and has served as the council’s president pro tempore since 2013. His current term does not expire until December 2020.
The councilman will be leaving to take a job with the Oak View Group, a global sports and entertainment advisory, development and investment company, as its new executive vice president of government affairs, effective Jan. 1.
“Serving on the Los Angeles City Council has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life and has gone way beyond a career. I truly love what I do and who I work with,” Englander said. “Recently, I was presented with an amazing opportunity in the private sector to work with some of the most brilliant and well-respected leaders in their industry. While I didn’t seek this out, sometimes tremendous opportunities find you.”
Englander ran for a seat on the county Board of Supervisors in the 5th District in 2016 but failed to make the runoff in a crowded field, with Kathryn Barger ultimately winning the seat. He is the only Republican on the 15-member, officially nonpartisan council.
A reserve officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, Englander chairs the council’s Public Safety Committee, which oversees issues regarding the police and fire departments.
“Mitchell is extremely well-respected inside City Hall and well-liked all around the city. He brings with him a wealth of Los Angeles governmental experience and a fresh perspective. We are thrilled to welcome him to OVG,” company CEO Tim Leiweke and board member Irving Azoff said in a joint statement.
Although he appeared to enjoy positive and cordial relationships with his council colleagues, Englander is known for a sometimes-aggressive and combative style compared to other members, and often was not shy about berating a city official, particularly during meetings of the Public Safety Committee. At a meeting in August, he engaged in a tense back-and-forth with Marcel Porras, the chief sustainability officer for the Department of Transportation, as to why his department was not enforcing a moratorium on dockless transportation programs.
“Do you think we just put motions in and just take our time to do this for some other reason?” Englander sarcastically asked Porras. The exchange and tone was not unusual for Englander when he felt a department was lagging in its duties or slow to respond to an official request from the council.
Englander often spoke about how gun violence has impacted him personally. His uncle was shot and killed by gang members in 1994 during a robbery, a crime that he said drove him into public service.
Over the last year, Englander has pushed for rules restricting what potentially dangerous items can be brought to public protests, supported a linkage fee on developers for affordable housing, called for a faster timeframe on street and sidewalk repairs before the 2028 Olympics and supported changes to the much-debated Deferred Retirement Option Plan for police and firefighters. He made some headlines when he proposed that Los Angeles International Airport install marijuana amnesty boxes where passengers could surrender cannabis before departing on flights.
Englander also pushed for tougher laws to crack down on illegal street racing, which has long plagued his district, and also for tougher regulations on the natural gas industry. His district includes the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, the scene of a massive 2015-2016 methane leak near Porter Ranch that displaced thousands of residents.
“Together, we’ve weathered horrific emergencies and tragedies from fires, to train collisions, the largest gas blowout in U.S. history, and more,” Englander said. “Throughout these crises, our community always came together — never running away from, but always toward danger in order to help each other. We became even stronger.”
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