Mike Signer

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Atri Michael "Mike" Signer (D)
2015-Mike Signer bw.JPG
Mike Signer, ca. 2015

Electoral District At-large
Term Start January 1, 2016
Term End December 31, 2019
Preceded by Dede Smith (D)

Council President (Mayor)
Charlottesville City Council]
Electoral District Elected by council January 4, 2016
Term Start January 1, 2016
Term End December 31, 2017
Preceded by Satyendra Huja (D)
Succeeded by Nikuyah Walker (I)

Biographical Information

Date of birth Jan. 1, 1973
Age 48
Spouse Emily Blout
Children 2 boys
Residence Fifeville Neighborhood
Venable Neighborhood
Alma mater B.A., Princeton University
Ph.D., University of California
J.D., University of Virginia School of Law [1]
Profession Attorney
Website http://www.mikesigner.com/
Campaign $ VPAP
Contributions $ VPAP

Atri Michael "Mike" Signer was elected to City Council in the 2015 election. He served as mayor for the first two years of his term. [2] [3]

Brief Bio

Mike Signer (D) was elected to City Council in November 2015. In January 2016, he was unanimously selected by his peers to serve as President of the council (mayor). He served a two-year term as mayor from 2016 to 2018. Signer is a Managing Principal of Madison Law & Strategy Group, PLLC and directs the firm's Charlottesville office since 2010, where he practices corporate and regulatory law. He is General Counsel of WillowTree, Inc, a technology firm in Charlottesville, and former candidate for lieutenant governor. He worked for the Center for American Progress, and with [John Podesta] on Barack Obama's State Department Transition Team. Signer earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a Clerk at the Legal Aid Justice Center and Research Assistant to Professors A. E. Dick Howard and Michael Klarman. A lecturer at the University of Virginia, Signer previously chaired the Emergency Food Network, served as president of the Fifeville Neighborhood Association, and a member of the steering committee of the West Main Street Redevelopment Project. Signer lives in Charlottesville with his wife, Emily Blout, and their twin sons. In 2017, Signer and his wife, Emily Blout, moved from the Fifeville Neighborhood to the Venable Neighborhood. His sons attend a local Montessori School.

2015 election

Signer was elected to the Charlottesville City Council on November 3, 2015. [4]

Signer is a Charlottesville attorney and one of three Democratic nominees for City Council in the 2015 election. [5]

He has also served as president of the Fifeville Neighborhood Association.

2019 election

Signer announced on March 28, 2019 that he would not seek a second term on Council. [6]


Signer attended Washington and Lee High School in Arlington County. He credits attending Earth Day in 1990 as one reason he sought out public service. [1] At Princeton University, he helped work on the 1992 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton. After graduation he worked on a series of internships and campaigns including Mark Warner's unsuccessful bid for Senate in 1996. He earned a Ph.D. in political theory from the University of California but chose to apply his education to practice rather than remain an academic. He decided to attend law school at the University of Virginia. Signer and his wife, Emily Blout, bought their house in Fifeville in 2005. Though they later moved out of Charlottesville, they kept the home. [1]

Signer then worked as a policy fellow for organizations such as Third Way and Center for American Progress. He also taught at Virginia Tech during this period. Signer decided to seek office after being inspired by Tom Perriello's successful run for Virginia's 5th Congressional District. In 2009, he ran for lieutenant governor and received 21 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary. He also founded his law firm, the Madison Law & Strategy Group and wrote his first book. [1]

Signer moved back to Charlottesville in 2013 with his wife, Emily Blout. He got involved with several groups including the Fifeville Neighborhood Association. [1]

Committee assignments

Signer was appointed to the following committees in January 2016. [7]


Shortly after being selected as mayor on January 4, 2016, Signer became the target of activist Jeff Fogel who questioned how and why he had been chosen. Former City Council candidate Paul Long questioned the amount of money raised by Signer for the election. Signer spent $51,305 in the general election compared to $28,632 spent by Wes Bellamy and $23,081 spent by Kathy Galvin. [8] Bellamy defended Signer. Fogel tried to respond but was ruled out of order. [9] [10]

2015 election

Candidates Votes %
Wes Bellamy (D) 4,688 29.67
Kathleen M. Galvin (D) incumbent 4,590 29.05
Mike Signer (D) 4,309 27.28
Anson Parker (R) 1,208 7.65
Scott Bandy (I) 691 4.37
Write-In 312 3.0
Source: State Board of Elections[11]

Each voter could vote for up to three candidates.

Candidate Profile Resources
Candidate Mike Signer (D)
Office Charlottesville City Council
Election year 2015 election
Logo-small25.jpg Candidate interviews by Charlottesville Tomorrow
Candidate interview transcript
Candidate interview audio

Source website

Audio of Campaign Announcement

<play audio>http://s3.amazonaws.com/cville/cm%2Fmutlimedia%2F20150211-signer-announcement.MP3 </play audio>

People.jpg This biographical article is a stub. You can help cvillepedia by expanding it.

Photo gallery


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Web. For Mayor Signer, public service is 'the cause of my life', Chris Suarez, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, January 9, 2016, retrieved December 27, 2016.
  2. Web. Signer as Charlottesville mayor amid public dissension, Chris Suarez, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, January 4, 2016, retrieved December 27, 2016.
  3. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, January 4, 2016.
  4. Web. 2015 November General - Unofficial Results, Virginia State Board of Elections, November 3, 2015, retrieved November 3, 2015.
  5. Web. Signer launches race for Charlottesville City Council, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 11, 2015, retrieved February 12, 2015.
  6. Web. Councilors Bellamy, Signer will not seek re-election, Nolan Stout, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, March 29, 2019, retrieved March 29, 2019.
  7. E-mail. Paige Rice, City of Charlottesville. "RE: list of appointments." Message to Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow. January 7, 2016.
  8. Web. Elections for Mike Signer, Virginia Public Access Project, retrieved December 27, 2016.
  9. Web. Signer elected mayor, Bellamy vice mayor, Lisa Provence, News Article, C-Ville Weekly, January 5, 2016, retrieved December 27, 2016.
  10. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, January 4, 2016.
  11. Web. 2015 November General, State Board of Elections, November 4, 2011, retrieved July 28, 2016.

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