As a social worker, Rep. Shields took with him his long held
values of social justice and equality. As Assistant Majority Leader and
Chair of the Public Safety Subcomittee of Ways and Means, Rep. Shields
has successfully forced debate on adequate funding for schools and
helped stopped attempts to weaken the voter-approved increase in the
minimum wage. He also fought for affordable health care, living-wage
jobs, affordable housing, public safety and a fairer criminal justice
He strongly advocates that more social workers should run for office. In fact, he often says "we need to spend less time turning legislators into social workers, and more time turning social workers into legislators."
Rep. Shields also takes the time out of an incredibly busy schedule to teach political and social advocacy at the School of Social Work.
Prior to being elected to the Legislature, Rep. Shields served as Executive Director of Better People, a non-profit, job placement and counseling program focused on helping people who had been in trouble with the law. Since its founding, Better People has helped hundreds find and keep living wage jobs.
Rep. Shields graduated from the M.S.W. program in 2003. He lives in Northeast Portland's Piedmont Neighborhood where he is business manager for his wife Shelda Holmes' private medical practice in the neighborhood.