Democrats for the Town of Ithaca


Legislative district 11

Shawna Black

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Shawna Black, whose county legislative district 11 serves Forest Home and other parts of East and South hills (retiring legislator, Peter Stein), lives in the northeast area with her wife and three children. She is active in the PTA, Ithaca Swim Club, and is a Cornell hockey fan. She is a founder of Rise Up Ithaca, an online platform that connects people with information, resources, and political actions. She is HIPAA Privacy Officer and responsible for Corporate Compliance at Southern Tier AIDS Program (STAP). Issues she will focus on are affordable childcare and housing, including senior housing, and working on solutions to battle the opioid epidemic. She is also endorsed by the Working Families Party.

Legislative district 12

Amanda Champion

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Amanda Champion, whose county legislative district 12 encompasses parts of West and South hills (retiring legislator, Will Burbank), organized the Women’s March in Ithaca in January. She is a writer and editor, and has previously held a variety of jobs from park ranger to retail store manager. She is devoted to progressive values, especially maintaining a strong social safety net, advancing social justice issues, and protecting the environment. She is a 17-year resident of Tompkins County, has an 11-year-old son and a 19-year-old stepdaughter, and her husband runs a small business as a contractor. She has also been endorsed by the Working Families Party.

Legislative district 10

Deborah Dawson

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Deborah Dawson, whose county legislative district 10 includes the Villages of Cayuga Heights and Lansing, and Renwick Heights on East Hill (retiring legislator, Dooley Kiefer), is a member of the Village of Lansing Planning Board and served on the committee to amend the village Comprehensive Plan. She retired to the Ithaca area after a legal career in federal agencies. She describes herself as a “pragmatic progressive” and is concerned about the scarcity of affordable housing, well-paying jobs, and county-wide public transit in our county. She is also endorsed by the Working Families Party.

Legislative district 7

Dan Klein

Dan Klein is finishing up his first term on the Tompkins County Legislature for district 7 (parts of South Hill). Before that, he served for six years on the Danby Town Board. Dan is currently vice chair of the County Legislature, chairs the Government Operations Committee, and is a member of the Budget Committee and the Facilities and Infrastructure Committee. Dan is a board member of TCAT, a member of the Strategic Tourism Planning Board and the Environmental Management Council, and is a trustee of Greensprings Natural Cemetery.

Legislative district 5

Anne Koreman

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Anne Koreman, county legislative district 5 (parts of West Hill; retiring legislator, Jim Dennis), is a 29-year resident of Tompkins County, a small business owner, and a licensed home inspector. She has 22 years’ experience in health care, including elderly, mental health, and addiction treatment. Anne served on the board of FightBack of CNY, Black Oak Wind Farm, was chair of the Finger Lakes Sierra Club, and is a founding member of Finger Lakes Pulse, an LBGTQ+ advocacy organization. Anne lives with her wife/partner of 18 years in an old farmhouse that they retrofitted with solar panels and geothermal heating. A former union representative, Anne has been endorsed by UAW local 2300 and the Working Families Party.


Jim Salk

Jim Salk presides over matters ranging from traffic tickets to misdemeanor trials, from landlord-tenant disputes to small claims to felony hearings. He graduated from Ithaca College in 1974 and earned his law degree from Syracuse University. Throughout the course of his 38 years’ practice in Tompkins County, Judge Salk has accumulated the depth of legal experience required to excel as Ithaca Town Justice. He recently retired from active practice in the Ithaca law firm Schlather, Stumbar, Parks & Salk, LLC. His practice included representing business owners and not-for-profit corporations, helping buyers and sellers of real estate, and a wide variety of other legal work. He also participates in numerous pro-bono and community activities.


Rich DePaolo

Rich DePaolo has served on the Town Board for nine years. As a 32-year resident of the Ithaca area, Rich has taken a keen interest in community affairs, particularly related to the environment and and-use planning. Rich currently chairs the town’s Planning Committee, which regularly oversees project-specific zoning matters, and is currently engaged in the development of rental property oversight regulations to balance the needs of renters, landlords, and neighborhoods. He is a strong proponent of smart growth principles, and seeks to continue to help the town encourage  development patterns that utilize existing sewer and water infrastructure while providing enough density in focus areas to encourage efficient transportation and allow for green space and farmland preservation. Rich is also a composer, performing musician, and record engineer. He lives on South Hill.

Tee-Ann Hunter

Tee-Ann Hunter has served on the Ithaca Town Board for nine years. Prior to that, she was the Town Clerk for six years. Her work in local government dates back to 1986. She serves on the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility special joint committee, the Southern Cayuga Lake Intermunicipal Water Commission (Bolton Point), and the town’s Public Works Committee.
Tee-Ann’s areas of greatest concern are environmental issues. She is chair of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization, which helps municipalities plan water quality projects to restore and protect this resource. She is also interested in the development of new land use regulations to implement the town’s updated Comprehensive Plan. She lives on West Hill.

Pat Leary

Pat Leary currently serves on the Budget, Planning, Codes & Ordinances, and Personnel committees, and on ad hoc committees dealing with sidewalks and short-term rentals. Pat has lived in the same apartment in Cayuga Heights for 40 years. A strong supporter of the living wage and median-income housing, she has also been endorsed by the Working Families Party.