Former Council Member Gary Schiff takes new job as head of Council on Crime and Justice

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July 8, 2014
By: Bjorn Saterbak
Bjorn Saterbak

Former City Council Member Gary Schiff began working as the fifth president of the Council on Crime and Justice July 1, leading a staff of 14 people and operations of the research, advocacy and service organization in Downtown Minneapolis. 

Schiff served three terms on the Council representing the city's 9th Ward, working directly with police, judges, elected officials, social service leaders, faith leaders, neighborhood activist and employers. He said he believes his experience advocating for crime victims and collaborating with public and private entities qualifies him for the position.

“I think working with Minneapolis neighborhoods has given me an opportunity to work with both the victims of crimes, as well as people with criminal records. And that’s exactly what the Council on Crime and Justice does,” Schiff said.

Schiff earned a bachelor of arts in women’s studies from the University of Minnesota in 1994 and also studied urban planning at the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs.

In January 2013, Schiff started his campaign for mayor of Minneapolis but dropped out of the race in mid-June after an unsuccessful DFL endorsement convention.

Schiff is currently on the board of the In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater. He has 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience and has served on the capital campaign boards of Little Earth for United Tribes, CAPI and Alliance Housing.

“Gary Schiff is a mission-driven and results-orientated leader with a proven ability to build coalitions and advance policy solutions,” said Tom Boardman, Chair of Council on Crime and Justice Board of Directors, in a statement.

On July 16, the Council on Crime and Justice will host an open house for members of the community, and Schiff said he is looking forward to that.

“We’ll open the doors to the community for people to learn about the services that the council on crime and justice provides to the community, as well as for people to hear about the research work and the advocacy that the organization is doing at the capital,” Schiff said.

Schiff said the organization will continue to build on its mission under his leadership.

“The model of research, advocacy and service is going to continue in the future as we tackle the difficult and changing climate in the criminal and justice system,” Schiff said.