David Maher is a lifelong resident of Cambridge who lives on Appleton
Street, just around the corner from the Blakeslee Street house where his
parentsí raised their four children and where Davidís eighty-four year
old mother, Lillian (Cullen), has lived for more than fifty-eight years.
From a very early age, Davidís late father, William (Billy), taught
his children the importance of compassion and public service. Davidís
dad was a decorated WWII Veteran who came back from the war to begin a
distinguished career in law enforcement. From first walking the beat as a
Boston Police officer to his dedicated detective work in Cambridge, Davidís
father was an instrumental force in shaping Davidís own deep commitment
to public service.
David graduated from Suffolk University, School of Management and began
his career in local government in 1991 when he was elected to the
Cambridge School Committee. After serving four terms on the School
Committee, David was elected to the Cambridge City Council in 1999.
Earning a reputation as a consensus builder, he was elected Vice Mayor by
his colleagues on the Council during his first term.
David has chaired several of the councilís most important committees:
serving as Chair of the Finance Committee, Chairman of the Government
Operations and Rules Committee, Co-Chair of the Ordinance Committee for
six years and founder and first Chairman of the University Relations
In addition to municipal government experience, David has seventeen
years of experience in the local nonprofit community. David currently
serves as Director of Development for Cambridge Family and Children's
Service, a multi-service, non-profit agency serving the critical needs of
children and families in our community. He is also a proud sponsor of
little league baseball in both West and North Cambridge. David's work on
behalf of children and families gives him a unique perspective on the
important issues facing our community.
David has a long commitment to public health issues in our community.
He has served as the President of the Cambridge Chapter of the American
Cancer Society, as well as Citywide Chair of the Coalition for a Healthy
Future, the initiative that helped educate young people about the harmful
effects of tobacco products. As the Co-Chair of the Ordinance Committee,
David was instrumental in helping to make Cambridge a smoke-free
Public Safety and Quality of Life:
Safe streets and neighborhoods are essential to preserving the health and
security of our residents. As Chair of the Government Operations
Committee, David worked to provide high quality public safety services and
to maintain public confidence in these services. He supported the
appropriation for the new Robert W. Healy Public Safety Facility which
recently opened in East Cambridge and advocated for increased police
patrols on our streets. David supported the training and equipment
purchases that resulted in our emergency response team being recognized as
a leader in Public Safety throughout the Commonwealth.
Traffic, Parking, and Transportation:
All residents of Cambridge share the streets and deserve safe, efficient
roadways and sidewalks throughout the city. In the interest of making a
safer, more pedestrian friendly Cambridge, David has supported a number of
roadway and sidewalk improvements, including traffic calming measures,
road enhancements to Harvard Square, Porter Square, and Central Square.
David has supported the creation of the Neighborhood Ten Study Committee,
a group of concerned residents appointed by the City Manager who have been
working on a number of quality of life issues, one of which is the problem
of cut-through traffic, which jeopardizes the safety of our streets.
Municipal Finance, City Budget, Assessments, and Property Taxes:
David currently serves as chair of the City Councilís Finance Committee.
As a Cambridge homeowner, David has experienced, first-hand, the impact of
sharp increases in property assessments on area residents. No taxpayer
should ever receive a 40%, 50% or 100% increase in their property taxes.
David has personally walked countless individuals through the complex
abatement process, including many seniors and long time residents who were
especially hard hit by these sharp increases. David also raised an alarm
over the number of property valuations that appeared to be inflated. In
order to better address the underlying causes of these sharp jumps, David
called for the creation of a Special Committee on Taxation, which
continues to explore possible changes to property tax legislation.
Land Use, Planning, Economic Development:
As Co-Chair of the City's Ordinance Committee for six years, David
provided the leadership necessary to successfully guide the City Council
through the most comprehensive down zoning in the last fifty years. These
changes balance the strong desire of neighborhoods to decrease traffic and
improve living conditions with the need for lasting economic stability.
Restrictions on parking, building heights, density, and the screening of
rooftop mechanical equipment were all enacted with Davidís leadership.
All of these needed restrictions will make Cambridge a more livable
community for all our residents.
Human Services Programs:
David has more than sixteen years of experience in the local non-profit
sector, where he serves as the Director of Development for Cambridge
Family and Children's Service, a non-profit organization that provides
adoption services, foster care, mentoring services and services for
families caring for a child with disabilities. This experience gives David
a unique understanding of the problems, issues and challenges facing
families today. David continues to be a strong advocate for quality human
service programs which serve the needs of children, seniors, and our
citizens of all ages.
Open Space, Parks, and Recreation:
David has worked tirelessly to promote the acquisition and capital
expenditures needed for improving and expanding parks and open spaces that
have become sanctuaries from urban life. His advocacy for ďstepping upĒ
efforts to plant more street trees resulted in the ambitious goal of
planting 500 new street trees annually. He supported the $13 million
dollar capital expenditure that made the long overdue renovations to
Russell and Donnelly Fields a reality. David is committed to improving the
quality of our neighborhood parks. He voted in favor of the funding needed
to complete the renovations of several neighborhood parks. As Co-Chair of
the Ordinance Committee David was instrumental in the negotiations with
Harvard University that secured two major victories for the taxpayers of
Cambridge including the creation of forty units of affordable housing just
being completed in the Riverside neighborhood and a new 40,000 square foot
park currently being built along Memorial Drive. Both of these projects
are entirely being funded by Harvard. In addition, he also supported the
creation of new park currently being completed at 238 Broadway in area IV.
Energy, the Environment, and Public Health:
David focused on several important environmental and public health issues
during his tenure on the Council. As the Co-Chair of the Ordinance
Committee, David was instrumental in making Cambridge smoke-free. He
responded to fears expressed by North Cambridge residents regarding
environmental issues at the W.R. Grace site. David met with residents and
supported council action calling for the continued involvement of the
Environmental Protection Agency. David also led the Alewife rezoning
process through the Council that successfully resulted in a 200
hundred-car surface parking lot being converted back to wetlands. In
addition, David voted in favor of funds needed to protect Cambridge's
water supply from harmful pollutants.
Maintaining the vibrancy and diversity that makes Cambridge such a special
place to live has become increasingly difficult. David has successfully
worked to promote public/private partnerships that will result in hundreds
of new affordable housing units becoming available for Cambridge
residents. He has consistently supported efforts to respond to working
families in Cambridge by promoting homeownership opportunities for
middle-income families. David worked for the passage of the Community
Preservation Act, which allows Cambridge to leverage our annual commitment
to affordable housing to its current level of $11 million dollars a year.
David will continue to support sensible housing policies that will help
those most in need.
Colleges and universities are an integral part of the fabric of Cambridge
and establishing healthy relationships with the city's universities can
greatly benefit the people of Cambridge. To this end, David founded and
was the First Chair of the City's University Relations Committee. David
led the negotiations that resulted in Harvard University agreeing to build
40 units of affordable housing as well as a new 40,000 square foot park
along Memorial Drive at no cost to Cambridge Taxpayers.
Working to increase a real sense of community throughout our neighborhoods
is critical to the vibrancy of our city. In an effort to increase feedback
and participation from residents David was instrumental in making
Cambridgeís first World Cafť a reality. The Cafť was an opportunity to
bring together a vast array of voices so the council could listen to
residents concerns and priorities. David has supported a variety of
efforts to bring Cambridge residents together, including Danehy Park
Family Day and the Citywide Dance Party, two very popular community events
enjoyed by people of all ages. The dance party involves closing down
Massachusetts Avenue in front of city hall for an evening of fun and
enjoyment for families. Danehy Park Family Day is an all day event that is
held each year featuring arts and crafts, rides, food, music and
performances. It is also an opportunity to introduce residents to a
variety of non-profit, human service and educational services that are
available in the City.
Cambridge Public Schools and Youth:
David has spent most of his professional life working on behalf of
children and families. This includes his professional experience with
Cambridge Family and Childrenís Service, where David serves as the
Director of Development. David was also a former eight-year member of the
School Committee, and has a real understanding of the educational
challenges and needs of our diverse community. For many families in our
city, private schools are not an option. We must continue to improve the
Cambridge Public School System. Strong public schools will help prepare
our children for life's challenges and attract young families to our City.
Cambridge has a long history of supporting public education and David
believes we need to renew our commitment to excellence. David also
supports both the North and West Cambridge Little Leagues and
congratulates the West Division Rockies, the team that David sponsors, on
winning the Mayors Cup!
Candidate's 2007 responses