Commission application number 366 submitted by Shannon Halbrook on 09/30/2020

First Name Shannon
Last Name Halbrook
Voter Unique Identification number 1206801932
Ethnicity White
Gender Male
Age 35-44
Education Level Post-Graduate Degree
Major Pursued Public Affairs
What is your occupation? Data Analyst
Submitted Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78757
Verified Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78757
Do you have a spouse or domestic partner? Yes
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. It is my job to research a given policy issue, break it down into parts, review the debate around it, and build an analysis supported by solid data. I’m familiar with GIS, demographic analysis, and the redistricting process, and I’m aware of modern quantitative measures that can help us evaluate the fairness of new maps. Beyond that, I always make sure my conclusions pass the smell test and can be defended in plain, common-sense language.
Please describe your ability to be impartial. Our country and city are deeply divided. Tempers are high and it’s hard to be impartial. But I like to think that most of us still share certain values as Americans and Austinites, and that those values can still be a solid foundation for policymaking. With that hope of common ground, I always try to be conscious of my own biases and set them aside with respect, understanding and empathy for others while retaining my principles. I believe that many political disagreements simply come from people’s different perspectives. A properly designed representative government listens to everyone and finds a way to accommodate those perspectives.
Please describe your appreciation for the City of Austin's diverse demographics and geography. From the perspective of Austin’s prosperous tech industry, or the real estate sector, the city’s doing great. But our worsening affordability crisis is putting great stress on low-income communities on the east side, in far north Austin, and elsewhere. Many of our truly essential workers simply can’t afford to live here. As gentrification puts the socioeconomic, racial and cultural diversity of our city in jeopardy, the disproportionate impact of COVID is just making things worse. For the right policy solutions, we need a properly representative Council. Fair redistricting can help rebalance political power among Austin’s communities and bring more equity to our city’s decision-making.
Please provide your employment history. I have been a policy analyst and researcher in the state Comptroller’s office for about two years. Redistricting is one of the subject matter areas I cover regularly. Previously, I worked on the publications team of a Boston-based non-profit consumer law advocacy organization for many years before earning my master’s degree from UT’s LBJ School of Public Affairs. In graduate school I was a community engagement intern with the City of Austin and learned a lot about the challenges faced by our diverse communities across the city — which have only gotten worse since then. Over the years, I’ve learned to work constructively with people for a good cause, knowing when to compromise and when not to.
Please provide any other information you wish to be considered during the selection of the most qualified applicants for the Commission. I love Austin and want to make a difference. It’d be a lot of fun and very rewarding to participate. With the disturbing attempts across the country to corrupt the Census and pervert our elections, we desperately need fair-minded people to draw fair districts at every level of government. I want to help!
How did you hear about redistricting/Applicant Review Panel? From family or friend
Disclaimer Agreement Checked
Disclaimer Signature Shannon Dee Halbrook
District District 7
Does this application qualify? Yes