Commission application number 293 submitted by Carol Eckelkamp on 08/17/2020

First Name Carol
Middle Name/Initial L
Last Name Eckelkamp
Voter Unique Identification number 1130380418
Ethnicity White
Gender Female
Age 55-64
Education Level Some College
Major Pursued Religious Studies
What is your occupation? Medicare Insurance Agent
Submitted Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78722
Verified Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78722
Do you have a spouse or domestic partner? Yes
Spouse/Domestic Partner First Name Darrell
Spouse/Domestic Partner Last Name Gest
Are you applying to be the student member of the commission? No
Have you been continuously registered to vote in the City of Austin for the last five years? Yes
Have you voted in 3 of the last 5 City of Austin general elections (or corresponding runoff if applicable)? Yes
Been appointed to a state or city office? No
Been elected to a state or city office? No
Been a candidate for a state or city office? No
Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a political party? No
Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of the campaign committee of a candidate for elective state, county, or city office? No
Been a registered state or local lobbyist? No
A paid employee of the City of Austin? No
A person performing paid services under a professional services contract with the City of Austin? No
A person performing paid services under a professional or personal services contract to the City Council of the City of Austin or to any individual member of the City Council of the City of Austin? No
A controlling person of a person performing paid services under a professional or personal services contract to any member of the City Council of the City of Austin? No
Contribute or bundle one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more in aggregate to candidates for City of Austin elective office? No
Please describe your relevant analytical skills. I have worked extensively on problem solving in my insurance practice. My skills include assessing the proper types of coverages that work with older individuals, based on many factors that I must analyze. I perform these tasks daily. My work in many volunteer organizations serving on various board of directors as president, treasurer and in many other leadership positions, helps me keep my problem-solving skills sharp. Leadership requires me to use my thinking skills to solve problems and help organizations with strategic planning. I have had the opportunity to set on boards that have gone through professional strategic planning sessions and these were always enlightening and taught me many things about myself and others in the organizations My volunteer experience working with the US Department of State's International Visitors Leaders Program (IVLP) and Global Austin helped me to analyze situations as they pertain to helping young international professionals navigate the local educational programs in their field of expertise. Our organization coordinated with local leadership in non-profit organizations, local government offices, state legislators and businesses to allow visitors to see how Americans really operate. Not just what is portrayed in media and on television; myth busting in a manner of speaking. I sometimes would accompany them on their program appointments. There were numerous incidents that had to be dealt with in these interactions. I did this for almost 10 years.
Please describe your ability to be impartial. Working with the League of Women Voters in Austin area and with the Texas LWV leadership, I have learned the true meaning of impartiality. My role has mainly been helping to set up candidate forums for cities, chambers of commerce and neighborhood organizations. In formulating questions for these types of forums we have use objective criteria, rather than the bias or prejudice of the actual questioner. Especially when a slate of candidates might include many inexperienced individuals and a very experienced incumbent. It was a challenge to find a fair question that would not favor the incumbent in these situations. Years of doing this has taught me to look at many sides of an issue and to remove the inherent bias, especially when a question would come from an organization with a specific, one-sided agenda or from myself on an issue I may be very passionate about. All my life, I have tried to see multiple sides to an issue so I could make a fair assessment. This skill could be critical for this commission.
Please describe your appreciation for the City of Austin's diverse demographics and geography. I love Austin and have lived here for most of my life. I moved here when schools were being integrated and my family experienced both the good and bad of those efforts. I lived in NE Austin as a child and now live on the east side of IH 35, near the UT campus. The diversity of my neighbors is the reason I chose this area of Austin. The outdoor areas of Austin, from Emma Long Park to Decker Lake showcase the diverse geography and I love both areas. My appreciation of the city has grown during the pandemic as we ride bicycles most mornings on the fabulous hike and bike trails systems in many parts of Austin. For this same reason we have gotten to know the people in small businesses, from coffee shops to restaurants who are struggling to survive. We are helping many and love getting to know these entrepreneurs from across Austin. I thought I knew Austin well as we participate in many facets of life here, from live music to school festivals and fundraisers, but getting on a bike and really seeing the community up close has given me a true appreciation for what makes Austin a great city.
Please provide your employment history. As an entrepreneur and a life-long volunteer, I have learned to work with people from all backgrounds. Back in the early 1990s, I was one of the first farmers at the Travis County Farmers market(Webb Farms) and was involved in the initial Texas legislation where WIC cards became an acceptable form of payment at area farmers markets (back when the "cards" were actual paper currency similar to food stamp coupons). Working with other growers and county officials gave me an appreciation for diverse members of our community. Since 2002, I have been in insurance and financial services. Working in this industry has taught me to be organized and how to work under various governing bodies; from the SEC/FINRA to the Texas Department of Insurance. I have held various state and federal licenses and now only hold a Group 1 through TDI. Certification tests are required annually and one must pass with 90%. All insurance carriers from which I have state appointments to sell Medicare products require this annual recertification. My early days as a pastoral associate for the Catholic Church, St. Austin and Sacred Heart, taught me how to work with middle school youth and their families. Working with teenagers was one of the most challenging jobs I have held to date.
Please provide any other information you wish to be considered during the selection of the most qualified applicants for the Commission. I would love the opportunity to serve the city I love on this commission.
How did you hear about redistricting/Applicant Review Panel? Social media
Disclaimer Agreement Checked
Disclaimer Signature carol eckelkamp
District District 9
Does this application qualify? Yes