David Maher

David Maher
2009 Candidate for Cambridge City Council

Home address:
120 Appleton St.
Cambridge MA 02138

Contact information:
Campaign Office: 51 New St. Cambridge, MA 02138
Website: www.davidmaher.org 
e-mail: carmar120@aol.com

Send contributions to:
The Maher Committee
120 Appleton St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
Checks can be made payable to: "The Maher Committee"

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 Committee.

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 community.

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.

University Relations:
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.

Civic Participation:
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!

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Page last updated October 19, 2009 Cambridge Candidates