David Maher

David Maher
2013 Candidate for Cambridge City Council

Home address:
120 Appleton St.
Cambridge MA 02138

Contact information:
Campaign Office: 2329 Mass. Ave., Cambridge MA 02140
Website: www.davidmaher.org
e-mail: david@davidmaher.org
Tel.: 857-236-7163
Twitter: twitter.com/David_Maher1

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

David Maher is committed to serving the citizens of Cambridge by ensuring local government is open and responsive to the needs of the community. Elected four terms to the School Committee and seven terms to the City Council, David has proven his common sense leadership approach to tackling issues enhances the lives of his fellow citizens. David is always ready to roll up his sleeves to do the necessary work required to effect positive change.

During his tenure as Mayor, David advocated for improving the public education system, forging new partnerships throughout the city, and providing quality constituent services to citizens. Under his leadership, Cambridge completed a major renovation of CRLS, identified a permanent home for the Adult Community Learning Center and won national awards for the City's green building and community health initiatives.

Throughout his years in public office, he has earned the reputation of a "consensus builder" by, time after time, bringing together interested parties and helping them to foster mutually beneficial agreements. David believes that citizens, business leaders and government officials need to work together to solve the issues our city faces. Whether it is resolving zoning issues, improving our public education system, or building partnerships with Cambridge's businesses or educational institutions, David's approach to solving problems will help ensure that Cambridge remains the best place to live, work and visit.

Top Priorities
David Maher is a lifelong resident of Cambridge who lives on Appleton Street, just around the corner from the Blakeslee Street house where his parents raised their four children. He understands the importance of having and maintaining vibrant neighborhoods in Cambridge.

During his tenure as Mayor, David Maher continued to advocate for neighborhoods by bringing countless neighborhood coalitions together to work with the city to improve existing zoning requirements and reducing the potential density in neighborhoods with large non-conforming structures. Councillor Maher recognizes that Cambridge is a dynamic community and the zoning requirements that made sense 30 years ago may not fit today's needs. David believes that the best solutions can only be found through active participation from stakeholders.

As part of his commitment to improve Cambridge, David appointed a special Mayoral Red Ribbon Commission, which is charged with studying the issues facing Central Square. The goal of this Commission is to bring together stakeholders in the square to form a plan that will revitalize the area for both residents and small business owners alike.

During his time on the City Council, David has worked tirelessly to promote the acquisition of capital expenditures for improving and expanding parks and open spaces that have become sanctuaries from urban life. As a proud sponsor of little league baseball in both West and North Cambridge, Councillor Maher understands the impact that quality parks and open space have on recreational opportunities for both children and adults.

Business and University Relations
A graduate of Suffolk University School of Management, David has many years of experience as an administrator with Cambridge Family and Children Services. David began his career in local government in 1991 and understands the importance of fostering positive relationships with our local businesses and universities.

Colleges and universities are an integral part of the fabric of Cambridge and establishing healthy relationships with the city's universities can greatly benefit Cambridge residents. 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.

Businesses not only drive Cambridge's economic engine but also provide important services to many neighborhood and community projects. Councillor Maher has worked to make sure Cambridge businesses can be good-community partners. David has worked to develop a formalized relationship among the Cambridge business and academic communities and the Cambridge Public Schools. Additionally, he continues to work with local leaders in the business community and relevant agencies to promote programs that encourage residents and visitors to shop at Cambridge Businesses.

David has spent most of his professional life working on behalf of children and families. He served eight years as a 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; strong public schools help prepare all children for life's challenges. Cambridge has a long history of supporting public education and, with the passage of the Innovation Agenda, David was instrumental in renewing the commitment to make Cambridge's schools an excellent urban school system. This plan will result in both the rebuilding of four of our elementary schools and the formation of an academically rigorous middle grade program aimed at better preparing our children for success in high school. Construction has already begun on the Martin Luther King Jr. School.

Energy, the Environment and Public Health
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. This initiative helped fund a public health outreach campaign that raised awareness among youth about the harmful effects of tobacco products. When he was the Co-Chair of the Ordinance Committee, David was instrumental in helping to make Cambridge a smoke-free community.

While serving as Mayor, David facilitated the securing of funding for the successful CitySprouts program, the Green Streets Initiative and expanding the CycleKids program in our schools. Additionally, David accepted numerous national awards on behalf of the city for our green building and community health initiatives.

David has focused on several other important environmental and public health issues during his tenure on the Council. David led the Alewife rezoning process through the Council that successfully resulted in a two hundred-car surface parking lot being converted back to wetlands. In addition, David has voted in favor of funds needed to protect Cambridge's water supply from harmful pollutants. During his term as Mayor, David reconvened the Cambridge Climate Congress to help facilitate the next steps that this group and the City need to take to achieve the goals outlined in the Climate Congress Report.

Maintaining the vibrancy and diversity which makes Cambridge such a special place to live, has become increasingly difficult. Therefore, 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.

While Mayor, David appointed a Silver Ribbon Commission. This Commission was charged with assessing the future needs of Cambridge seniors while also assessing how city services will need to change in order to meet the future demand of our seniors.

Smart Economic Growth
David has supported a number of zoning proposals that have helped make Cambridge the vibrant cutting-edge city that it is today. Along with many local housing initiatives, Councillor Maher has supported Cambridge Universities as they revitalize their campuses. As part of this effort, David has worked to cultivate Cambridge's position as a nationwide leader in innovation technology.

As the longtime Chair of the City Council's Ordinance Committee David has been instrumental in a number of efforts aimed at advancing Cambridge's infrastructure and improving the quality of life for its residents. David played an important role in implementing zoning changes that have resulted in pilot housing aimed at moderate-income families. These changes offer home ownership opportunities to residents who otherwise may not have had them.

Councillor Maher has advocated for increased access to open space parks and grounds. Acquisition of new open spaces including the Rogers Street Park have provided Cambridge residents with a host of new opportunities for outdoor recreation.

David has also supported other new initiatives aimed at improving residents' quality of life such as increased retail offerings all aimed at allowing people to live, play and shop in Cambridge. These developments have helped ensure access to quality restaurants and shopping areas. As part of these efforts, David has worked with local merchants to encourage people to shop locally in order to ensure that Cambridge's economy continues to flourish. By encouraging easy access to public transportation, David has worked to guarantee that residents have a convenient means of shopping locally.

Public Safety and Quality of Life
As the son of a Cambridge Police Officer, David understands that safe streets and neighborhoods are essential to preserving the health and security of our residents. David has worked to provide high quality public safety services and to maintain public confidence in these services. He supported the appropriation for the Public Safety Facility in East Cambridge and has advocated for increased police patrols in our neighborhoods. Cambridge's emergency response teams are leaders in the Commonwealth's public safety sector, in part, because of the training and equipment purchases that the city has made. David is proud supporter of funding for these initiatives.

Traffic, Parking and Transportation
Cambridge deserves safe, efficient roads and sidewalks. In the interest of making a safer, more pedestrian friendly City, David has supported a number of road and sidewalk improvements including traffic calming measures and road enhancements in Harvard Square, Porter Square, and Central Square. David supports the concerns raised by residents regarding traffic issues. One such issue has been the problem of cut-through traffic which jeopardizes the safety of our streets. During his term as Mayor, David secured funding to expand programs such as CycleKids and the Green Streets Initiative. The Green Streets Initiative mission is to promote the use of sustainable, active transportation; CycleKids mission is to get children on bicycles and engage them in a physical activity that addresses health and emotional issues facing today's under-active, and often, overweight children. Because of the funding that David helped secure, the CycleKids program will expand to each Cambridge elementary school.

Municipal Finance, City Budget, Assessments and Property Taxes
While many cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth and nation are facing extremely difficult financial times, resulting in the loss of essential public safety and educational services, Cambridge continues to maintain a strong financial position. In fact, Cambridge continues to have the lowest residential property tax rate of any city in Massachusetts and, unlike our federal government, we continue to maintain the highest bond rating possible.

Prior to being Mayor, David served as chair of the City Council's 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 longtime residents who are especially hard hit by sharp increases. In the past, David raised an alarm over the number of property valuations that appeared to be inflated and called for the creation of a Special Committee on Taxation which continues to explore possible changes to property tax legislation.

Civic Engagement
Working to promote a sense of community throughout all our neighborhoods is an important component of maintaining the vibrancy of our city. In an effort to increase feedback and participation from residents, David was instrumental in making Cambridge's first World Café (a type of citywide focus group) a reality. During his term as Mayor, David worked to ensure that parents and the community had unprecedented opportunities to learn about and comment on the plan to transform our elementary schools to a K-5 system with 4 upper schools. Meetings were held throughout the city, on weekends, and in each of the elementary schools. Not only does David strongly support efforts to increase the quality of communication with the public but also supports utilizing our resources more efficiently and effectively to engage all segments of our community.

Vision for Central Square
As Mayor, I was pleased to appoint the Red Ribbon Commission, which studied the issues facing Central Square. Since then, we have made great strides towards visioning the possibilities for this important center of our city. With the full support of and cooperation from the city, residents, and businesses, we can continue this process of developing and enhancing Central Square.

Central Square has an enormous amount to offer to the Cambridge community. Over the last term, I have supported efforts to begin this revitalization process. Central Square now features a number of options for food, shopping, and recreation. Restaurants offer outdoor dining and businesses provide residents with local options for a variety of needs. These opportunities have helped make Central Square into one of Massachusetts's premier cultural hubs. In fact, the Massachusetts Cultural Council recently deemed it a Cultural District. This recognition was well deserved and is a testament to the vibrant community that exists in the Square.

In order to continue to enhance Central Square's quality, it is important that we work together as a community to ensure that our goals are met. It is necessary that we work in unison to make sure that Central Square is a clean, safe area for our residents and our businesses. I intend to continue to work with the community to make certain that Central Square's full potential is reached.

This is an exciting time to discuss the future of Central Square. A number of residents and business owners have approached me with ideas and thoughts on how best to enliven the Square. Along with their help and input, I look forward to continuing to be an active and supportive voice for making Central Square all that it is capable of being. The success of Central Square is very much tied to the success of our entire city. As Cambridge continues to improve, so too will Central Square.

David Maher 2013 Candidate Profile - Cambridge Chronicle

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Page last updated Saturday, September 14, 2013 2:04 PM Cambridge Candidates