Sheldon Schafer is seeking the Green Party nomination for IL Secretary of State. He is an astronomy educator, retired planetarium astronomer, and former candidate for US Congress, 18th district and progressive political activist.
He grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and attended The Ohio State University, majoring in Astronomy with minors in Physics, Math and Sociology. After graduating, he received an invitation to enter the United States Peace Corps, fulfilling a dream instigated by John F Kennedy. He trained at the School for International Training, Brattleboro, VT, and entered the Peace Corps in 1970, serving for two years in the Science Teachers’ Workshop program in Andhra Pradesh, India.
Upon completion of his Peace Corps service, he returned to the USA, entered the museum profession and completed graduate studies at Wagner College, Staten Island, New York with an M.S. in Science Education in 1975. From graduate school he came to Peoria as the Planetarium Director at the Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences (which joined the Peoria Riverfront Museum collaborative in 2012), where, after 38 years of service, he retired in January, 2014. Since 1980 he also has been an Astronomy Instructor in the Physics Department at Bradley University, and is continuing that in retirement.
In the political arena, he is a founding member of Peoria Area Green Party, past Chair of the Peoria County Central Committee of the Green Party, past Chair of the State Central Committee of the Green Party, active in all areas of Green Party organization, served as the Central Illinois coordinator for Whitney for Governor Campaign in 2006, and was the Green Party candidate for US congress 18th Congressional District in 2008 and 2010.
His community and volunteer service has included service on the boards of the Peoria Academy of Sciences and WTVP, and volunteer for the Recreational Trail Advocates, Illinois Valley Wheelm’n, WTVP, Haiti Mission Connection, St. Thomas Church, Peoria Astronomical Society, Peoria Academy of Sciences, Strategic Planning Committees and Guest Reader Programs of Peoria Public Schools, National Peace Corps Association, and the Earth Day coalition.