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 Subcommittee 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 system.
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.