Get to Liam Shanahan
Get to Know Liam Shanahan
Tell us a little bit about yourself (i.e. where are you from, where’d you go to school, what you do for a living, etc.)
I have always been interested in politics, and growing up in Columbus, I was able to be front in center in state politics. I have volunteered on political campaigns since I was in 8th grade. When I was a senior in high school, I founded the first High School Dems chapter at my school, and was involved in the pilot program through OYD to start a statewide High School Dems organization.
I attended Beloit College in Beloit, WI, majoring in Political Science. My senior year, I interned with the Beloit Fire Department, which solidified my career goal of becoming a firefighter. After college, I served a year with City Year Columbus (AmeriCorps). Following this transformative year of service, I was served as Special Assistant to Ohio Treasurer of State Kevin Boyce. Following the 2010 election, I went to work in the emergency department at the OSU Medical Center.
I have been a firefighter for Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin since 2011. In addition to duties as a firefighter and paramedic, I have served as Union Trustee and Secretary of the Washington Township Fire Fighters IAFF Local 3036, currently serving as Treasurer.
My wife and I live in Norwood welcomed out first child Declan on May 4th!
Why are you running for this office?
I have always been driven by doing what I can to improve the lives of others and I chose a public service-oriented career specifically because I want to give back to my community. My choice to run for office was an easy one because I have worked in and around electoral politics for years and understand just how impactful elected officials can be in their communities.
My past work experience and education have equipped me with a unique set of skills that will allow me to work to ensure that Norwood is a safe, clean, and thriving community for all its residents and visitors. I want to do what I can to give back to Norwood, the community where I live with my wife and where I have chosen to start and raise a family. As a new father, I want to make sure that the streets and sidewalks are safe for Norwood’s children to walk on, that the parks are taken care of and that the swing sets, slides, and other equipment are well maintained, and that our local first responders are given the respect and support that they deserve. Norwood is a great city, but it can be better—and I want to work with my community to make it better.
What are the most important issues on your campaign?
The biggest issues facing Norwood are its financial woes, our crumbling streets and parks, lagging City use of technology to inform citizens, attacks on the city’s Labor Unions and the neglect of the city’s water infrastructure. Norwood was under “fiscal watch” for twelve years and has been in “fiscal emergency” for the past two years. There has been some progress made to become financially stable, but not enough. The City relies on one major source for incoming revenue: the income/earnings tax. I want to work on diversifying the revenue streams we use to fund our City by looking at what potential economic development grant or nonprofit support are used by other places like Norwood that are in such financial straits.
Once the City is on more solid financial footing, we can focus on the other important issues we face, like fixing our crumbling streets and parks, and making sure that our first responders have the necessary support and upgraded equipment. But to best address these needs of Norwood, we also need to work on building stronger relationships between the City, the people who call it home, and the businesses that employ our neighbors. I want to implement a new citywide service day in both the fall and spring to bring together community members to help clean up and maintain our parks. I also want to learn from other communities about how best to create other opportunities for partnerships between everyone who calls Norwood home. I bring a unique combination of education and diverse, public service work experience that has equipped me with a broad set of skills and perspective. Having someone on City Council who understands how public safety departments operate is crucial to understanding their necessary funding and operational costs.
I also think it’s important, particularly in the current anti-union political climate, to have union members serving in public office. I want to make sure that our City’s employees know that they have someone on their side on Council to make sure that they’re given a fair and equitable seat at the table to negotiate contracts that are beneficial to the city, its citizens, and its workforce.
Give us a fun fact about yourself.
My birthday is on Election Day this year!
What’s your favorite thing about Ohio?
I love how close Ohio is to most of the US, truly “the heart of it all.”
Which team is your favorite sports team? If there’s a fun reason why, tell us!
I am a huge Ohio State Buckeyes fan.
If you were a professional athlete what song would you choose to be your “walk out” song?
“Aw Naw” Nappy Roots
What TV show have you binge watched entirely too fast?
“West Wing”... I have probably watched all 7 seasons over 10 times
If you were an Olympic athlete, what sport would you compete in?
As a high school, and briefly college swimmer, I would love to have had the chance to compete as an Olympic swimmer
Most importantly, how can young Dems help in your campaign?
I would love to have a day of action planned to help canvass and get the word out about my candidacy. In addition, all campaigns need funding, so if you are able to donate $25 or $50 please visit www.shanahanfornorwood.com
To see the entire list with all of our 2019 Ohio Young Democrats' endorsed candidates click here.
Side note: We'll be blunt - campaigns cost money. Even if you're not on the ballot, the people running this November are going to have direct impact on your lives, so we're doing everything we can to make sure this impact starts with Young Dems. Can you chip in $5 to help us fund our campaign?