Biography of State Representative Mike O'Brien

First elected to the General Assembly in 2006, Pennsylvania State Representative Mike O’Brien represents the 175th Legislative District, which runs from the lower Northeast to South Philadelphia through the River Wards of central Philadelphia.

Mike lives in Fishtown with his wife Rita, a Philadelphia school teacher. They have two children, Bridget, who is a candidate for Ph.D. at Notre Dame, and Michael, a research scientist at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory.

Mike is a fierce proponent of public education, fighting for a fair funding formula for our schools, full-day kindergarten, smaller class sizes, pre-k learning and other programs that we know will help our kids succeed. As Chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education, Mike is leading the effort to address the issue of crushing student loan debt faced by so many of our young adults.

Since taking office, Mike has been a leading advocate for women's health issues, LGBT equality, and responsible government.

As Democratic Chair of Urban Affairs Committee, Mike is focused on developing smart policy to address the concerns of people who live in urban centers across the commonwealth. Mike has fought for women's rights and equal pay for women, increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and protecting children and families from dangerous led poisoning.

In his short time in Harrisburg Mike has been recognized as a coalition builder and for his ability to "get stuff done," resulting in his appointment to leadership as a member of the two most powerful committees in the general Assembly, the House Appropriations Committee and the House Rules Committee. Mike is relentless in his work for the people of the 175th District and the City of Philadelphia, having brought home millions of dollars in funding for health care, the arts, education and seniors.

Prior to his election to the Pennsylvania State Legislature, Mike served as Chief of Staff in the 175th District for 12 years. Before entering government service he was Director of Operations for a major meat house in Philadelphia.

For more information on Representative Mike O'Brien and his work in Harrisburg, check out his legislative website at