ITHACA, N.Y.—Second Wind Executive Director David Shapiro has announced his candidacy for Common Council’s 3rd Ward.

Shapiro, a Democrat and longtime Belle Sherman resident, becomes the second candidate into the race for the 3rd Ward seat after Dr. Nathan Sitaraman also announced his candidacy this week. Both Shapiro and Sitaraman are running for the four-year seat.

Before being hired at Second Wind, Shapiro was the executive director of Family and Children’s Services in Ithaca from 2011 to 2018. After that, he also served as Family and Children’s Services of Chemung County’s CEO.

Thanks to his current role at Second Wind, a community in Newfield that provides housing for people who are experiencing homelessness and particularly those recovering from addiction, Shapiro said he’s become “keenly aware” of the brutal affordability issues that plague Ithaca’s housing market and wants to address those issues using his nonprofit experience and the municipality’s resources.

Shapiro previously ran for Tompkins County Legislature, though he was defeated by the late Henry Granison in 2017. He has also run for a spot on the Ithaca City School District Board of Education. For this candidacy, Shapiro said he has been endorsed by former Common Council member Donna Fleming and former Ithaca Public Works Commissioner Jon Greene.

The release also states that Shapiro has volunteered on the Ithaca Municipal Drug Planning task force, the Tompkins County Community Services Board, was a founding member of the Unbroken Promise Initiative in Ithaca and a founding committee member for Love Living at Home.

It is clear that the anger of city workers will be a central theme of Common Council campaigns, as it has been frequently mentioned in the campaign announcements that have been published so far. Shapiro also noted that he feels that will be a priority on council.

“We need to ensure a well-compensated and fully staffed workforce across all municipal agencies,” Shapiro said. “We need to complete the work of Re-Imagining our police force. We must squarely meet the challenges of climate change. If elected, I hope to engage and participate in each of these complex challenges, but more so with my ears and less dictated by my own opinion or agenda. I hope to help bring people together, to solve these complex problems in a way that enables everyone in our community to feel heard, feel safe and feel valued.” 

Shapiro added that he would encourage zoning to encourage families and long-term residents in neighborhoods like Fall Creek, South Hill and East Hill, which are attractive to student renters. Zoning and street safety measures are two ways to encourage home ownership and appeal to young and old residents.

“My wife and I are raising three sons in the Belle Sherman neighborhood and feel blessed for all this community has offered us,” Shapiro said. “I want to show my boys to follow their dreams, to see my passion for public service and teach them the values in building community. The priorities I will have in local government are not only for them and their future. It is because of them that I have made my focus securing a bright future for all Ithaca residents.”

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at