vandenburgh-bioAs a life-long resident of Crown Point, Shelli attended Eisenhower Elementary, Taft Junior High, and Crown Point High School. Her husband, Tim, a steelworker at U.S. Steel, is also a C.P. Bulldog alum. Both graduated in 1988. In addition, Shelli and Tim were married at the First Presbyterian Church in Crown Point. A wonderful marriage of 25 years. They have two children, Ron (16) and Bailey (13).

After graduation, Shelli attended Purdue University in Hammond, IN. In 1990, she began her career in public service at the Lake County Clerk’s office in the Child Support Division. She worked her way up to Director of the division, a position she held her remaining 12 years with the Clerk’s office. In 2006, Shelli ran for Center Township Board and was the first-ever woman and Democrat elected to serve there. In July 2007, Shelli was appointed to fill a vacancy for District 19, State Representative. She was re-elected to three successive terms through November 2014. However, a bid for a fourth term was unsuccessful, due to poor voter turnout where Indiana was worst in the nation.

While serving as State Representative, Shelli authored and passed numerous pieces of critical legislation. In addition, she served on several influential House committees. As a member of the Education committee, Shelli co-authored Indiana’s first Preschool pilot program. Furthermore, she was an outspoken advocate for public schools and public school teachers. Throughout her years of service in the House, she was a proven champion for the working-class, fighting against anti-labor legislation. She was also a leading advocate for women, carrying legislation supporting equal pay, against domestic violence, and retaining the right to choose. She also carried and passed legislation in support of our veterans. Please see the legislation section for more of her victories while serving in the House.