I have lived in the same house for 20 years where I have raised three
wonderful daughters: Nina, CRLS graduate, senior at Bowdoin College;
Vanessa, CRLS graduate, freshman at Temple University; and Angela, sixth
grader at Shady Hill. Two years ago I moved my 91-year-old dad in with me.
In my two decades of living in Cambridge, I have become passionate about
this city, its people, its neighborhoods, and the opportunity to build a
model world-class community. Cambridge is a great place to live, but I
know that by working together, we can make it better.
Doctorate in Rehabilitation Counseling, Boston University Master's Degree
in Education: University of Maryland, College Park Bachelor's degree in
Counseling, Boston University Licensed Guidance Counselor- MA
Reading, playing basketball and pool, volunteering for Cambridge Youth
Soccer, and helping kids grow.
Housing Cambridge Public Schools Traffic, Parking, and Transportation
Quality of Life and Public Safety
Quality of Life and Public Safety:
Like most vibrant cities, Cambridge is constantly challenged with
maintaining a high quality of life and public safety for its residents. I
am a strong believer in neighborhood policing, which includes neighbors
knowing neighbors and foot patrol policing.
Traffic, Parking, and Transportation:
It would be great if we all depended more on walking, biking, and public
transportation. I would like to see a local bus system moving throughout
Cambridge neighborhoods that would allow more independence for all
residents. It would be integrated with the MBTA, but would be based on
movement through Cambridge, and not just the MBTA patterns for the greater
Boston area. As such, it would be focused on the needs of our citizens.
Alexandria, VA, has established a city system that works in conjunction
with the Washington, DC Mass Transit system, and we should see if it is
possible here. Students would be less car dependent for getting to and
from school activities, and seniors could remain more independent. In
addition, a local bus system would go a long way in terms of reducing
parking concerns and short distance driving.
Municipal Finance, City Budget, Assessments, and Property Taxes:
While Cambridge has one of the lowest residential tax rates in the
Commonwealth, it is a challenge to maintain quality services and
reasonable taxes. Given our ability to maintain a triple A bond rating and
healthy financial reserves, it can be done, but future needs surely will
tax our financial resources. It is vital that we stay focused on those
things that continue to make Cambridge a livable city: Education,
transportation, safety, recreation, and access to all city services, while
being vigilant with every dollar spent.
Government and Elections (Plan E Charter, City Manager, staff for
councillors, etc.): No response.
Land Use, Planning, and Economic Development:
Cambridge must balance growth with existing resources. We have to be
mindful of maintaining our history while functioning in the 21st century.
We are a community first and planning must be done with the people who
live within neighborhoods in mind.
Human Services Programs:
I am proud that Cambridge is a leader in providing human services programs
ranging from childcare and after school programs to a user-friendly senior
center. We have to constantly evaluate and monitor programs for their
effectiveness. As our city changes, so too will the human service program
needs. I have spent my adult life focusing on providing quality human
services, and understand fundamentally the costs and benefits of providing
high quality service.
Open Space, Parks, and Recreation:
We are fortunate to live in a city with many quality parks and
recreational opportunities. We have to utilize our ingenuity to make sure
project designs are very mindful of open space issues. It is difficult for
all of us to balance wanting open space with wanting more affordable
housing given the physical density of our city, but a city without green
space and open parks isn't supporting its citizens.
Energy, the Environment, and Public Health:
The Cambridge Health Alliance was created to provide healthcare within
neighborhoods, which is a great concept. Lack of city involvement has led
to limiting services in certain areas that reduces the quality of life for
the very people it was set up to service. It is time we think about
increasing our involvement to ensure quality health services for all.
Regarding the discussion on "Affordable housing" I continue to
ask the question: Affordable to whom? Cambridge has one of the largest
stocks of "affordable housing" in the Commonwealth. And yet, we
don't have enough housing opportunities because those who want to live in
Cambridge can't afford it. The inclusionary zone ordinance is an effective
way to increase the number of affordable housing units. Essentially,
developers must reserve a certain percentage of their units for those with
lower and moderate incomes. However, we may need to increase the
percentages to increase the number of affordable units. We also may need
to devise incentive programs that allow homeowners to sell their
properties to diverse populations who want to stay in Cambridge without
losing out on market pricing. As a city with a triple A bond rating, we
are in a financial position that better allows us to think outside of the
box in order to be more inclusive.
Arts and Public Celebrations:
Cambridge is noted for its diverse and colorful celebrations. As a city,
we should continue to seek out opportunities to bring people together and
The universities need the city and they also are good for the city. Our
goal should be to increase the connections between both parties in ways
that are mutually beneficial. One major concern is to increase the
transparency of the relationship between the city and the universities.
It is a wonderful feeling to help others just for the pure joy that
helping others brings. As a community, we are responsible for each other.
If we want citizens to participate, we need to build in volunteer
opportunities beginning when kids enter school and it should never stop.
Cambridge Public Schools:
Our youth are the heart and soul of the city. As the debate rages on
regarding "closing the achievement gap", the most critical piece
to closing the gap is prenatal care and early childhood education. Those
issues must be seriously addressed so that students are "ready"
to learn. We must remain focused on the quality of education we provide.
Focusing too much on standardized testing hinders students' ability to
learn in the many diverse ways they are capable of and limits the
creativity of both students and teachers. I was a statewide coordinator of
the Massachusetts Coalition for Authentic Reform in Education and helped
organize thousands of parents, teachers, and students throughout the
Commonwealth in an ongoing effort to reform MCAS testing and alleviate its
most damaging effects. I will continue my efforts to deepen and enhance
educational opportunities for students, teachers, and families.
I am Larry Ward, and I am asking for your number one vote on November 6th,
for city council (www.larryward.org).
Cambridge is a dynamic city, which calls for leadership that can keep us
growing in responsible ways that benefit those inside and outside of our
community. Education, employment, housing, and open space continue to be
primary concerns of Cambridge residents. I will bring a fresh perspective,
dedication, and hard work to making Cambridge better. As a city, Cambridge
is a great city to live, learn, work, and play. I welcome the opportunity
to serve the city, its residents, and visitors. I have raised three
wonderful children here and have lived, worked, and enjoyed our city for
20 years, and want to ensure that other families have the same
opportunity. As your city councilor, I will listen to your concerns and
translate what I hear into effective action. I promise to take the time to
listen and understand the key issues from all perspectives, and together
we can make Cambridge an even greater place for families to live. My
candidacy is as much about our future as it is about where we are. Your
vote for me will be a vote that helps maintain Cambridge as a world-class