About Shelly

Who She Is and What She Stands For

On January 14, 2015, Shelly was sworn in as a member of the House of Delegates and is thrilled to be representing the 11th district in the General Assembly.  She was appointed by Speaker Michael Busch to be a member of the House Appropriations Committee where she serves on the Education and Economic Development Subcommittee and the Personnel Oversight Subcommittee.

Shelly ran for Delegate because she believes so profoundly in public service. Throughout her life, she has practiced what she preaches. Her record of effective public-interest and community service, her devotion to family and family values, and her integrity and independence are proven. Now she’ll prove that she can effectively represent the 11th District, where she and her family have deep roots. She’ll do that not with flashy promises but with hard work on behalf of families, children and seniors.

Community Experience and Advocacy for Families and Children

Shelly Hettleman Shelly has labored long and well for community organizations and causes both within the Jewish community and outside of it.

She was the first Program Director of CHANA, a counseling, helpline and aid network for abused women in the Baltimore region. She was instrumental in creating the partnership among a diverse group of community non-profit organizations and developed it into a national model for comprehensive services for victims of domestic violence and teen violence prevention.

She was part of the team that launched Parent Action, a start-up parent advocacy organization and served as its Director of Public Policy. Parent Action was envisioned as a grassroots advocacy organization for parents and lobbied for family-friendly workplace policies and early childhood programs with renowned child psychologist T. Berry Brazelton.

Civil rights advocacy was an essential part of her work as Director of Government Relations at the Baltimore Jewish Council where she represented the organized Jewish community in Annapolis, in partnership with other religious faith communities.

As Senior Planner at the Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, she worked with many agencies and groups to plan, pursue grants and other funding, and grow programs to serve families, children and seniors.

She helped to launch Weaving Women’s Words: Baltimore Stories for the Jewish Women’s Archives, a national non-profit organization.  Oral histories and exhibitions were assembled to wide acclaim. She also spearheaded Women Who Dared, a project to recognize local women dedicated to human rights and social action.

Political experience

Shelly has always served the public interest, not special interests. Her work with U. S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski speaks to her own political ideals. And she has learned from them the legislative skills that are required to get things done and improve the lives of persons across economic, racial, ethnic and religious boundaries. 

For the past six years, she has been Sen. Cardin’s Campaign Manager, leading the huge effort that resulted in his resounding re-election. In the process, she co-led the Maryland Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign that was responsible for the re-election of the Maryland Democratic congressional delegation.  Her statewide prominence and contacts will be invaluable as she seeks to represent the interests of the 11th district in Annapolis.   

In addition, she served as a Legislative Assistant in the office of then-Congressman Cardin and on the staff of an earlier campaign of Sen. Mikulski. In these positions too, she developed invaluable experience in the craft and substance of legislative policymaking.

Family and Neighborhood Roots

Shelly was raised in the Greengate community in the 11th District.  Along with her husband Jeff, Shelly raised their son Jonathan and daughter Rachel in the District and lives now in the Dumbarton community.

Shelly attended Summit Park Elementary School, Pikesville Junior High School and graduated from Pikesville Senior High School in 1982. She then received a B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University in 1986.

Her work as President of the Parents’ Association and as a Trustee of The Park School has been a springboard for her close interest in public as well as private education. She has supported efforts by Park students to engage in many interactions with public school students.

She is an officer and member of the Board of Directors of Chizuk Amuno Congregation, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Baltimore Jewish Council.