Mark Stodola was elected as Mayor for the City of Little Rock, beginning his term in January 2007 and re-elected to a 2nd term beginning in 2011, capturing 84% of the vote. As Mayor, he has helped prioritize public safety as the Cityâ€™s first and foremost obligation, resulting in substantial decreases in violent crime and property crime. Since Mayor Stodola took office, the Cityâ€™s homicide rate has fallen more than 50% with the violent crime rate falling 34%.
The Mayor has partnered with the State Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Chamber of Commerce to bring over $1 billion in new capital investment to the City and more than 4,100 new jobs since taking office. In 2009, he crafted a major bond initiative that resulted in $6.9 million dollars in improvements to the City's park system. In addition, in 2011, he led a successful campaign to increase the City's sales tax garnering an 8% point win in the midst of the greatest economic upheaval since the Great Depression.
Mayor Stodola has been key in promoting the revitalization of Little Rock's Main Street, resulting in the City having been awarded a "Greening of America's Capitals Grant" from the Environmental Protection Agency and an "Our Town Grant" from the national Endowment for the Arts for the creation of an Arts District in the heart of the downtown core.
Recognizing the importance of quality of life attributes, as indispensable community development and industry recruitment tools, Mayor Stodola has elevated community health, public school partnerships, citizen service and healthy food and active living access to the forefront of his public policy agenda. Mayor Stodola has focused on pressing community problems such as childhood obesity, 1st thru 3rd grade reading proficiency, youth service opportunities and sustainable food shed development. In addition, Mayor Stodola has partnered with the Little Rock School District on joint use agreements and public service initiatives such as Love Your Block and Love Your School; and his forthcoming Healthy Food and Active Living Initiative that will engage undeserved neighborhood residents in health-related service opportunities involving the development of community gardens, trail development and after-school meal programs.
Prior to becoming Mayor, he served as a senior partner in the Little Rock Law Firm Catlett & Stodola, PLC. In 2006 and 2007, Mayor Stodola was named to the Mid-South Super Lawyers List in the practice areas of General Litigation and Government/Cities/Municipalities and has served as General Counsel to the Little Rock Airport Commission. Having previously served the City of Little Rock as its City Attorney for six (6) years, he was elected as Prosecuting Attorney for the 6th District in 1990 and was re-elected again in 1992 and 1994. During his tenure as Prosecuting Attorney, he focused his energies on gang violence, and developed the first Domestic Violence Unit in the State and created a Gang Prosecution Team. He was recognized nationally by the Department of Justice for creating an innovative juvenile diversion program and drafted several successful pieces of legislation, including the Arkansas Safe Schools Act, the Arkansas Gang Organization and Enterprise Act and the Arkansas Drug Abatement Act.
Mayor Stodola serves on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Task Force of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Advocacy Committee of the National League of Cities. Mayor Stodola has served as Vice-President of the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), as well serving as a lecturer for the NDAA in Argentina and Russia. Mayor Stodola is Past President of the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorneys Association and Arkansas City Attorneys Association, as well as Past Chair of the Municipal Operations Section of the International Municipal Lawyers Association.
Currently, Mayor Stodola serves the U.S. Conference of Mayors as Vice-Chair of the Task Force on Immigration Reform and as a member of the Advisory Council, the Community Development and Housing Committee and the International Affairs Committee. In addition, he serves on the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Advocacy Committee of the National League of Cities. Mayor Stodola as served as Vice-President of the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), as well as serving as a lecturer for the NDAA in Argentina and Russia. Mayor Stodola is Past President of the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorneys Association and the Arkansas City Attorneys Association, as well as Past Chair of the Municipal Operations Section of the International Municipal Lawyers Association. In addition, he is a member of various State, regional and national legal and professional associations.
Mayor Stodola is a graduate of Leadership Greater Little Rock, and served as Chair of Class 16 for that program. In addition, he is a member of the Heights Neighborhood Association and serves as Co-Chair of the Downtown Partnership's Main Street Task Force. Mayor Stodola has served on the Board of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre and is Past-President of the Quapaw Quarter Association and the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas. He has worked with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program and is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Little Rock.
Mayor Stodola graduated from the University of Iowa with a double major in Political Science and Journalism, and received his law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville. Mayor Stodola is married to Jo Ellen and has three (3) children: a daughter, Allison; and twin sons, Robert and John Mark.