Larry Ward

Larry Ward
2007 Candidate for Cambridge City Council

Home address:
372 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02139

Contact information:
Tel: 617-491-9273

Send contributions to:
Committee to Elect Larry Ward
PO Box 390961
Donations can also be made online at the website

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.

Top Priorities:
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 celebrate!

University Relations:
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.

Civic Participation:
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 ( 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 city!!!

Page last updated May 10, 2009 Cambridge Candidates