Ward 9 Issues and Accomplishments
Cutting Red Tape
Council Member Gary Schiff has cut red tape, reducing the time it takes to do business with the city. The Zoning Department and Planning Department merge in 2005, and variances have been eliminated to make it easier to build garages.
Council Member Gary Schiff was one of the lead authors of Minneapolis’ smoking ban. Breathing got easier starting March 31st. The Minneapolis law prohibiting in-door smoking affects bars, restaurants, bowling alleys and clubs is now in effect.
Gang Prevention Programs
Council Member Schiff is spearheading an effort to create new programs to prevent youth from joining gangs. Schiff is working with the religious community and the business community to create job opportunities and recreational activities in an effort to reduce gang crime and gang membership. The City now cleans up gang graffiti on private property at no charge to homeowners.
More graffiti services
Got graffiti? Homeowners can ask the City to clean it up free of charge thanks to results of an anti-graffiti task force led by Council Member Gary Schiff.
Rental Application Fees
Finding an apartment just got easier. Council Member Gary Schiff’s new ordinance says landlords must tell renters the criteria used for screening, tell applicants within 14 days why they were rejected, and only cash screening fees from one applicant per unit at a time.
Equal Benefits Ordinance
Companies that bid on City contracts must offer the same employee benefits to gay couples that they offer to straight couples under new rules authored by Council Member Gary Schiff. Small businesses and religious organizations get exceptions.
The City now recognizes the matricula, a form of identification issued by the government of Mexico, as appropriate identification when doing business with the City. Council Member Gary Schiff worked to write the new policy with Carlos Sada, the Chicago regional Consul General for the Government of Mexico.
Federal jurisdiction in immigration
Council Member Schiff authored an ordinance clarifying the federal government, not the city, handles immigration investigations. The ordinance forbids City employees from inquiring about immigration status or treating people differently who are immigrants. The ordinance was supported by former Police Chief Robert Olson due to the need to build trust among immigrant communities and the police, and to help make sure immigrants aren’t afraid to report crime.
Businesses near light rail must have wheel locks on shopping carts. Council Member Gary Schiff’s ordinance has reduced complaints of stray carts from residents who live in Longfellow near Target, Cub and Rainbow.
City staff is working with Council Member Gary Schiff to exploring the feasibility of a streetcar in the Midtown Greenway. In 2004, Schiff sponsored visits throughout Minneapolis by national streetcar expert Charlie Hales.
Council Member Schiff began the process of the City of Minneapolis going wireless, making a motion directing staff to begin the process of issuing a Request for Proposals to make Minneapolis a wireless city. In addition, Minneapolis has been named the number one tech city in the nation .
In April of 2005, the City Council approved a text amendment to the Minneapolis Plan to add the concept of sustainability. Sustainability efforts preserve and enhance our environmental, economic and social realms. According to the sustainability plan, "the use of resources, development patterns and any impacts on air, water, land and other living organisms by the present generation should not impinge on the ability of future generations to be economically sustainable, live in a clean environment, and equitably share in the benefits and the burdens of growth. The city will seek to increase the understanding of its people and its leaders about the long-term costs and benefits of resource and development decisions and public policies that are made in the present day so that those decisions and policies are economically and environmentally sustainable over time."
Please see the Minneapolis Plan for more information.
Last updated Feb. 24, 2012