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|44th Mayor of San Francisco|
January 23, 2018
|London Breed (Acting)|
|Member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
from the 2nd district
January 8, 2011 - January 23, 2018
March 15, 1974 |
San Francisco, California, U.S.
|Education||Loyola Marymount University (BA)
University College Dublin (MA)
University of Pennsylvania (JD)
Mark E. Farrell (born March 15, 1974) is an American politician and lawyer serving as the 44th and current Mayor of San Francisco since January 23, 2018. Prior to his appointment as mayor, he served on the Board of Supervisors for nearly two terms, representing District 2 (the Marina, Cow Hollow, Pacific Heights, Seacliff, Lake District, Presidio Heights, Jordan Park, Laurel Heights, Presidio, and part of Russian Hill).
Farrell was born on March 15, 1974,[better source needed] the only child of Lena (née Ewoldt), a former stewardess from Probstei near Kiel and John Farrell, a former Air force pilot, now an attorney, and grew up near the Palace of Fine Arts on Broderick Street. Farrell spent his summers at his cousin's family farm in Probstei.
He attended both Stuart Hall for Boys and Saint Ignatius College Preparatory, and subsequently received a B.A. in 1996 from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, M.A. from University College Dublin in Ireland, and J.D. in 2001 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia.
Prior to being elected to the Board of Supervisors, Farrell practiced law as a corporate and securities attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Silicon Valley for 3 years, joined Thomas Weisel Partners as an investment banker where he was an integral part of the Internet & Digital Media team for over 5 years, and subsequently co-founded Quest Hospitality Ventures, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm focused on the hospitality and travel sector. Prior to his election to the Board of Supervisors, he served as a mid-level director of Quest Hospitality Ventures, now Thayer Ventures a venture capital firm.
Farrell was first elected in November 2010 by the voters of District 2, and subsequently reelected in November 2014 for his second term. Farrell serves as Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, a founding member of the 2016-17 Super Bowl Bid Committee, and on eight other local and state boards and committees.
Farrell's legislative priorities have included advancing policies and projects that address housing affordability and the cost of living, homelessness, local economic development, neighborhood vitality, and public safety and quality of life issues. Since his election to the board of supervsiros, Farrell ushered through a unanimously supported two-year city budget that reformed the way San Francisco pays for retiree health care benefits - solving a $4.4 billion unfunded liability - and passed small business tax credit legislation so the city's small businesses can hire more employees and create more local jobs. In addition, Farrell created a public-private partnership between the San Francisco non-profit Kiva.org and San Francisco's Office of Small Business to provide small businesses citywide greater access to capital at 0% interest, and became the first elected official in California to personally endorse Kiva borrowers on the platform.
Farrell introduced an anti-gun ordinance in 2015 that placed onerous regulations on the only firearm retailer in the city, High Bridge Arms, causing the retailer to go out of business. Farrell told the San Francisco Chronicle, "From my perspective, if the last gun store in San Francisco wants to close its doors because of my legislation, so be it."
To address homelessness in San Francisco, Farrell led the effort to double San Francisco's Homeless Outreach Team, authored and passed Laura's Law, a state law that allows for community-based compelled mental health treatment for the severely mentally ill, and has hosted numerous hearings on services and solutions to reduce homelessness in San Francisco.
To help keep families in San Francisco, Farrell created the Schoolyards Project, which opens public schoolyards on the weekends to create more open space and foster a greater sense of community, and annually sponsors the Marina Family Festival in District 2. Farrell has also called hearings on family flight to find and discuss the root causes which are causing families to leave San Francisco, and has worked on policies and projects to help reverse family flight.
To help integrate the benefits of technology into residents' everyday lives, Farrell led a broad coalition to create "Free Wi-Fi" in city parks, plazas and open spaces and is working to expand online access to all communities across the city. Farrell also authored and passed the city's landmark open data legislation that continued San Francisco's national leadership in the open data movement and will promote further local economic development and government efficiency..
In June 2016, Farrell was ordered to repay $191,000 in unlawful campaign funding after the City ethics panel voted, 5-0, to uphold the original 2014 decision of the San Francisco Ethics Commission that he should have to forfeit back to the City the amount raised from just two donors and used late in the 2010 election by Common Sense Voters, an independent expenditure committee, with improper communications from a campaign consultant. Farrell was exonerated by the California Fair Political Practices Commission, although the campaign consultant Chris Lee and Common Sense Voters were found to be in violation of federal campaign finance laws, but a further complaint was filed with the City commission by Janet Reilly, who lost to Farrell by 256 votes. City law, stricter than state law, holds candidates personally responsible for staff as well as themselves, whether they knew about the illegal communication or not. In an unusual move, Farrell responded with a lawsuit against the City in May to prevent further collection efforts from the Treasurer's office, and settled with the City for $25,000 in Oct. 2016.
Farrell was appointed as mayor by the Board of Supervisors on January 23, 2018, succeeding acting mayor London Breed. Breed, in her capacity as President of the Board of Supervisors, had been serving as acting mayor since the death of Mayor Ed Lee on December 12, 2017. Farrell's appointment is due to expire on June 5, 2018, when a citywide special election will be held. The winner of that election will serve out the remainder of Lee's uncompleted term (until January 8, 2020). He appointed Catherine Stefani to succeed him on the Board of Supervisors.
...two cousins gave the impetus - the Kiel management consultant Thomas Ewoldt and Mark Farrell, a city commissioner in San Francisco. Farrell's mother is from the region of Probstei near Kiel. The stewardess emigrated decades ago and lives in San Francisco.
Out of sheer love of adventure and against the wishes of her father, the 23-year-old farmer's daughter Lena Ewoldt traveled from the provost in 1965 to America by ship. Actually, she wanted to work for only a few months in the USA after graduating from the home economics school in Kiel. Today she is 75 and still lives in San Francisco. Because of course she has remained because of love: In order to earn money, she hired at an airline as a stewardess and got to know the young Air Force pilot and later lawyer John Farrell. The two married. In 1974, her only child Mark was born. Four decades later, her son, as city councilor of San Francisco, partnered with Kiel. Lena indirectly provided for that to happen: "It has always been like staying at a hostel in our home," says Mark Farrell (43). "My mum always had visitors from Germany and in the summer we were in the provost." There on the farm of the family Mark spent as a child weeks and months together with his numerous cousins. For the only child, they were like siblings. He has the closest relationship to Thomas Ewoldt. The Kiel business consultant and the Californian politician visit each other regularly. A few years ago, there were the first considerations on how the two cities could connect professionally beyond the private sector.