Stephen Shaff is a community and political organizer and a social enterprise entrepreneur.  His background represents an unusually broad and interrelated series of accomplishments and an extensive network of local and national relationships and contacts. 

As a social entrepreneur he was involved with the development of over $100 million worth of affordable housing projects in some of the most underserved inner-city Washington, DC communities.  His work included over 400,000 square feet of affordable housing and commercial redevelopment representing over 400 affordable home ownership opportunities.

As an organizer, Shaff has been active in a number of issues - all of which reinforce his community development and social enterprise agenda.  His organizing experience includes advocating for community, arts, economic, environmental and social justice and inequality issues.  He has founded, supported and advised a number of non profit and community organizations (see below).  

As a political activist, Shaff has been active from inner city Washington, DC to national political organizing and progressive movement activism and strategies. He's a founding Board Member of Progressive (The U.S. House of Representative's Congressional Progressive Caucus C-3 Foundation); Progressive Democrats of America, Vice President Emeritus; and, in 2014 was a co-founding Board Member of People Demanding Action - a national organizing C-4 addressing rampant economic, environmental and social injustice.

In 2013, Shaff founded Community-Vision Partners as a Benefit LLC to formally merge his multi-sectored approach to systematic and transformative community and social change. Significant projects of C-VP include the co-founding and development of the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Council; expansion of People Demanding Action as well as implementing its own community and economic development model centered around its Home Owner Partnership Program (HOPP). 

      Testifying in behalf of raising minimum wage in                                         Maryland

      Testifying in behalf of raising minimum wage in                                         Maryland

Originally from the Philadelphia area, Shaff moved to Washington, DC in 1986 as a George Washington University doctoral candidate seeking a PhD in Political and Social Psychology. Prior to GWU, he earned 2 years of college credit from the University of Maryland, European Division, while stationed in Germany while serving in the U.S. Army.  He graduated from West Chester (PA) University after his Army service earning a BA in Psychology. Despite a promising career in academia, Shaff took a leave of absence from his doctoral program to seek a more ‘applied’ path to creating substantive social and economic change.  He’s been an avid idealist, realist, social entrepreneur, organizer and political activist ever since.



Community Development  

Accomplishments include organizing various under-served communities to eradicate severe crime and drug infestation while simultaneously developing Green affordable housing home-ownership opportunities and other community revitalization initiatives.  His experience includes: 

Arts/Creative Economic Development 

Blighted Community Redevelopment

Resource Development & Strategic Philanthropy 

Green & New Economy Development   

‘Waste to Wealth’ – Green Jobs and Businesses Initiative: (in collaboration with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance)

Wind Energy Community Partnership Initiative: (Clean Currents Energy Solutions) 

Chesapeake Sustainable Business Council: Founding Executive Director responsible for organizational development, strategic planning, funding and growth 

Civic & Political Leadership 

Stephen has served on several boards; raised or donated funding; helped found several community and political organizations that serve the common good; and has provided significant pro bono services to a wide variety of community based organizations.  He also has advocacy and lobbying experience focusing on community and social justice priorities within the local, County, State and Congressional arenas.

Representative organizations

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Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, DC Region Board (1997 – 2013; Chair 2012-13)

Gateway Community Development Corporation, Founding Board Member (1996 – 1999)

World Arts Focus/Joe’s Movement Emporium: President Emeritus; capital donor (1996 -2004)

Emergence Community Arts Collaborative, Founding Board Member (2002- current)

Chesapeake Sustainable Business Council,  co-Founder, Executive Director (2013 – current), Founding Secretary & Board Director(2006 – current)

Progressive Democrats of America, Vice Chair Emeritus, pro bono consultant (2005 – current)

People Demanding Action, Founding Board Member and senior advisor (2014 – current)