Rep. Robin Shackleford, D-Indianapolis, was first elected to represent District 98 in the Indiana House of Representatives in 2012, when she ran unopposed. She's once again running unopposed, this time for re-election.
CANDIDATE PROVIDED BIOGRAPHY
An Indianapolis native, State Representative Robin Shackleford has dedicated her life to the principles of servant-leadership. She has extensive experience in government, community and diversity affairs coupled with a strong background in project management, supervision, training and budgeting.
First elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 2012, Shackleford represents the citizens of Indiana House District 98 and serves on the leadership team as the assistant democratic caucus chair. She has also served as a precinct committee chair for almost 20 years.
Shackleford serves on the Public Health committee as ranking minority member. She is also on the Financial Institutions, and Government and Regulatory Reform committees.
Due to her passion for project management and transformational travel experiences, Shackleford currently serves as an independent travel consultant to expose clients to vast and stunning locales around the world.
She previously served as a project manager for both Crowe Horwath and Engaging Solutions consulting firms. In these roles, Shackleford managed projects, enhanced client relationships, improved staff development, and increased sales.
Prior to consulting, her passion for public service was at the forefront while employed in the office of Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson as the diversity affairs director. In this role, she was responsible for raising and maintaining awareness of diversity matters and for promoting a broad range of activities to help the city achieve greater diversity.
With a career rooted in government affairs, Shackleford has worked as a policy and research specialist for the Indiana Health Care Association, where she developed public policy.
Additionally, she gleaned extensive experience about issues impacting the Indiana General Assembly through positions she has held with the Indiana Department of Commerce, the Clerk of the Supreme and Appellate Courts and the Indiana House of Representatives.
Shackleford is a graduate of Indiana University and IUPUI, having earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public affairs because of her dedication to community growth and education. She served as president of the Indiana University Neal Marshall Indianapolis Alumni Chapter and board member for Indy Reads. She currently serves on the boards of Martin University and the Pathway Resource Center.
Other civic involvement includes Eastern Star Church, National Black Caucus of State Legislators, Governing Institute’s Women in Government Leadership Program, Concerned Clergy and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
RE: RUNNING UNOPPOSED
NUVO: What do you have to say to constituents who may worry the lack of a challenger will mean their concerns won't be addressed because of this?
Shackleford: I believe that being unopposed shows that my constituents believe me to be an effective advocate for their concerns at their Statehouse. Whether or not I have an opponent doesn’t change my passion and determination to stand up and fight for our community. Not having a challenger gives me more time to spend in the community focusing on real issues, creating solutions and developing partnerships.
RE: AFFORDABLE HOUSING
NUVO: Our reader, Andy Beck, asks: We know that safe and affordable housing is necessary for employment, provides the opportunity to build wealth via stability, and has a tremendous positive benefit for health. Do you agree that housing is a human right? Do you agree that public dollars should only be awarded to organizations providing permanently affordable housing units instead of the short and medium term (5 or 20 years) affordable units that have been used to flip neighborhoods and tear apart communities?
Shackleford: I do believe in the Human Right for Housing that, “Everyone has a fundamental human right to housing, which ensures access to a safe, secure, habitable, and affordable home with freedom from forced eviction. It is the government's obligation to guarantee that everyone can exercise this right to live in security, peace, and dignity.” I support any initiative that helps realize that goal.
NUVO: Our reader, Steven Cornett, asks: Do you agree that partisan gerrymandering is antithetical to democracy, and that Indiana should adopt an objective process to create optimally compact census based equal-population congressional districts in Indiana by requiring it in the state constitution?
Shackleford: Yes. Gerrymandering is one of the chief impediments to greater citizen involvement in the election process, because it makes them feel they have no voice in elected government. The public wants nonpartisan redistricting…the challenge is convincing a party that is entrenched in power of that desire.
RE: RENEWABLE ENERGY
NUVO: Our reader, Mary Lou Dolan, asks: What is your position on moving toward more policies favoring renewable energy?
Shackleford: Renewable energy will save our planet. This should be a priority for us to consider now and for future generations.
NUVO: Our reader, Todd Fuqua, asks: Would you support legislation that would block public dollars from going to private schools if they engage in discriminatory employment practices based on sexual orientation or gender identity? Please comment on your rationale.
Shackleford: I personally don’t support any employer engaging in discriminatory employment practices. However, I also would note that my district is quite diverse. It includes a very large religious community—with a private Catholic school with students who use state-funded vouchers—and an equally large LGBTQ community. I would have to support legislation based on the views of the majority of my district. I would also point out that the state voucher program offers virtually no accountability or oversight by officials. These types of situations demonstrate the need for that kind of accountability.