Councilman Gabe Leland resembles the strong leadership that is apparent with many young professionals of today – a commitment to the resurgence of Detroit. He was elected to the Detroit City Council in November 2013 at 31 years old. Leland is one of seven council members who serve in the new council district system. He represents the constituents of District 7 on the city’s west side. Leland aims to create dialogue and affect positive change, utilizing his ample political experience, among a wide variety of constituency groups, including neighborhood, religious, business and labor organizations.
Leland chairs the Detroit City Council’s Planning and Economic Development Committee which oversees licensing, zoning and land use matters. He is a member of the Eastern Market District board.
A fourth generation Detroiter, Leland was born to Burton and Rosanne Leland, a Jewish family from Detroit. He and his brother, Zachary, spent much of their early life watching their father, Burton, represent the interests of residents in northwest Detroit as a Michigan legislator.
With a passion of and will for community and public service, Leland ran for public office and was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2004. He represented approximately 90,000 constituents from the 10th District on Detroit’s northwest side. Leland quickly earned a reputation for thoroughness, commitment, and his integrity and concern for the well-being of others. Specifically, he worked to create the M-1 Rail legislation, brought important infrastructure dollars to Detroit to fund road improvements, fought against outrageous insurance redlining, helped Detroit homeowners avoid foreclosure, and created the Leland Scholarship Fund to support Detroit high school students in their goal to attend college. During part of his state legislative service, Leland also chaired the House Committee on Urban Policy.
Leland is a graduate of Central Michigan University where he studied Public Administration with a focus in Community Development. Due to term limits, Leland left the legislature at the end of 2010 and went on to work in the private sector for a financial advisory firm as well as a consultant in community affairs for the Detroit Medical Center. Leland attends the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue in Detroit.