Eric Mitchell, RIP

Outspoken City Council member passes away

Eric Mitchell
Eric Mitchell (Photo by Alan Pogue)

Former City Council member and firebrand Eric Mitchell died Monday in his hometown of Atlanta, the Austin American-Statesman reported online today. Mitchell reportedly had suffered from a brain tumor.

Mitchell, a one-term council member serving from 1994 to 1997, was an outspoken, and often polarizing, representative who was quick to challenge Austin's environmental community. He was closely aligned with the business community and was a key architect of the development of the Austin Revitalization Authority – a recently marginalized organization that was charged with redeveloping the East 11th and 12th Streets Corridor.

Mitchell was a vocal, unpredictable presence on the council at a time when local environmentalists and developers were more sharply divided over the direction of rapid growth. Without question, Mitchell's most memorable moment was delivered in his remarks after losing his re-election bid to Willie Lewis, an African American candidate who won with support from white, environmental activists. Addressing the crowd at the old City Coliseum, Mitchell declared that he had "pulled the sheet off of Austin, Texas."

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More City Council
Inching Toward Higher Heights to Get More Housing
Inching Toward Higher Heights to Get More Housing
Advocates for low-income tenants urge a go-slow approach

Maggie Q. Thompson, June 13, 2022

Council Recap: A Balanced Budget, Without Much Drama
Council Recap: A Balanced Budget, Without Much Drama
But many hours of deliberation over two days on the dais

Austin Sanders, Aug. 13, 2021

More by Amy Smith
The Work Matters
The Work Matters
A look back at some of our most impactful reporting

Sept. 3, 2021

Well-Behaved? Let's Assume Not.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story
Barbara Leaming's new biography makes the case that Jackie O suffered from PTSD

Nov. 28, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

City Council, Eric Mitchell, Austin Revitalization Authority, Growth Wars

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle