Mahlon Mitchell became a firefighter at age 19. He rose through the ranks to become a Lieutenant at Station #1 in Wisconsin’s capital city of Madison, where he still serves and lives today with his wife, April, and two kids, Sie’anna and Karson.
Seeing the power of a union, Mahlon became active in the IAFF early in his career. After having served on the board of Local 311 for years, he was elected President in 2011 of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin and Local 311 in 2014.
The year he took over as President of PFFW, the most anti-union governor in modern U.S. history passed Act 10, stripping unions of their collective bargaining rights. Even when his members were exempt from the bill, Mahlon answered the call.
He stood in solidarity with his brothers and sisters in labor, led marches and rallies at the capital – and fought back. He brought Wisconsin firefighters together in solidarity with the rest of the labor movement because he understands that we are stronger when we are united.
Having served as both a local president and as the youngest and first African American to serve as President of the PFFW, Mahlon knows how to lead in challenging times.
He inherited a deeply divided association in the aftermath of internal allegations of misconduct that split the union. Working with his team in Wisconsin, he took the reins and cut through the politics that were tearing the union apart. Now, the PFFW is united and stronger than ever.
Firefighting is in Mahlon's blood. His brothers are firefighters in Atlanta and St. Paul, and his commitment to the job runs deep. Mahlon served as Director of Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety’s Burn Camp, working with burn-injured youth, and still serves as the Chairman of the PFFW’s Charitable Foundation.
We need that kind of unity and leadership right now, and that’s why Mahlon is running, to unite the IAFF around a bold vision for our future and continue to make our members proud to be part of the baddest and best union on the planet.
When Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker attacked collective bargaining, Mahlon was on the front lines of the fight, even taking on the anti-union Lieutenant Governor in a recall fight that went down to the wire. Mahlon's campaigns for public office mean he has been fully vetted. After passing through intense media scrutiny, he has come out the other side with his integrity and effectiveness unquestioned.
When Wisconsin firefighters needed better healthcare protections, Mahlon led the way. As PFFW’s president, Mahlon was instrumental in passing the Infectious Disease Presumption law that covers our members if they contract a disease or disability on the job, as well as a bill that ensures that health insurance is covered for families and spouses of members who are killed in the line of duty.
When others seek to divide us and point fingers, Mahlon has the experience and leadership in bringing people together at every level of our union and at all levels of government to get the job done on behalf of our members and their families.