ITHACA, N.Y. — Belle Sherman resident and nonprofit leader David Shapiro has entered the race for Tompkins County Legislature, running for District 3.

Shapiro announced his campaign Monday. He said his priorities will be to increase access to affordable and high-quality child care, universal Pre-K, a living wage and pay equity, crime diversion and prevention strategies, and a single-payer health care option in New York.

In a news release, Shapiro said he will work for a government that treats its residents with compassion and supports healthy development of children and economic security for all adults.

“I know all too well the financial stressors that come with raising children and finding affordable care.  I have also come to understand that for many people living and working in Tompkins County – with or without a family – the financial pressure to afford basic needs is overwhelming and it is further compounded by stagnant wages. I want to be part of a solution that helps everyone in Tompkins County to have financial security,” Shapiro said in a news release.

Shapiro said he is a “husband, a father of three boys, leader of a local nonprofit, and a grandson of a Holocaust survivor.”

He lives in the Belle Sherman neighborhood with his wife and three sons and is the president and CEO of Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca. He only recently joined the Democratic party after many years without a party affiliation, though he has only voted Democrat or Working Party in the past.

“Democrats must convince voters that we are the party for working families and adults.  We must convince voters that it is the Democratic Party that has been fighting for equity and inclusion, economic security, environmental protections and a reformed criminal justice system.”

Shapiro is running for the District 3 seat, currently occupied by Carol Chock. The district covers Belle Sherman, Bryant Park, South Hill and portions of upper Collegetown and East Hill.

Chock will not be seeking re-election, but Shapiro will be going up against another Belle Sherman resident, Henry Granison, for the seat.

Related: Legislator Carol Chock will step aside for fresh energy after this term

Shapiro said his sense of community and compassion for others was influenced by his grandfather.

“My grandfather Solomon was the only survivor from his family.  He immigrated to America a broken man, alone but alive.  Yet he made a life for himself, grew roots, got married, had children, grandchildren and is a real-life example of the American Dream.  What this country did for him is a debt I carry with me.  I live my life trying to pay that debt forward,” Shapiro said.

In a news release, Shapiro highlighted examples of his community service:

  • Participating in the City of Ithaca’s Municipal Drug Planning Committee that led to the creation of “The Ithaca Plan: A Public Health and Safety Approach to Drugs and Drug Policy.”
  • Participating in start-up efforts that led to the incorporation of Love Living at Home, a new local nonprofit aimed at supporting older adults so they can continue to live independently in their community.
  • Serving on other local nonprofit boards and committees including: The Mental Health Association of Tompkins County, the Tompkins County Community Mental Health Services Board, the United Way of Tompkins County and the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce.
  • Volunteer coaching for many grade school boys in basketball, baseball and soccer.

Learn more about Shapiro at his website, or via Facebook at

Featured image provided by David Shapiro.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.