Listen: Tompkins Legislature Candidate David Shapiro on Affordable Housing, Living Wage

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David Shapiro is running for the Tompkins County Legislature in District 3, an area that includes much of South and East hills in the city of Ithaca. Shapiro is running in a three-way race for an open seat against Henry Granison and Carolina Osorio Gil.

Listen More: Tompkins Legislature Candidate Henry Granison Interviewed

Shapiro joined Josh Brokaw of TruthSayers News live in-studio during WRFI News’ nightly 6 p.m. broadcast on July 18. We started out, like in all these interviews, talking about housing.

“There’s obviously a need for more affordable housing in Tompkins County,” Shapiro began. “There’s a lot of different solutions or different ideas that can be enacted that could help more broadly living be more affordable in Tompkins County. One of the big issues I talk about in my campaign is about what it’s really like to raise a family in Ithaca. In addition to the cost of housing, you also have the cost of childcare, you might not be able to get yourself into pre-K, things like that. For me, wondering what kind of role the government, specifically the Tompkins County legislature, play in making the other parts of our life more affordable. So even when we debate the ways, the different ideas people have around housing, it shouldn’t prevent us in working in other ways we can in making living more affordable … What bothers me is we get caught debating these different projects and in the meantime we’re not solving any issues regarding affordable housing.”

Shapiro continued to say he was a full supporter of the countywide living wage. At Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca, he said it was “probably the first budget decision” he made there as director seven years ago to pay a living wage.

David Shapiro at Tompkins County Progressives event, Southside Community Center. Photo via

Shapiro said later in the interview that he was in favor of a law that requires landlords to take Section 8 housing vouchers, along with increasing clarity in what developers are required to do to receive tax abatements from the Industrial Development Agency. We also talked about the upcoming need to hire a new county administrator, with the retirement in 2018 of Joe Mareane.

Listen to the 15-minute interview in the embedded player below or go to the link to listen at

Next Tuesday on WRFI News (6 p.m. at 88.1 FM Ithaca and 91.9 FM Watkins Glen) Josh Brokaw of TruthSayers News will interview another candidate in this year’s Tompkins County legislature election. Candidates who haven’t yet scheduled an interview should email

Featured graphic by Caleb Thomas, via Carolina Osorio Gil’s campaign website.

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Josh Brokaw is an independent reporter based in Ithaca, N.Y.
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Twitter: @jdbrokaw