James Roy Ward 5 City Council New Bedford

James Roy – Ward 5 City Council Candidate


The New Bedford municipal elections will be held on November 8th, 2011.  A list of the candidates can be found here.   New Bedford Guide does not endorse candidates and we offer our site for any candidate to publish articles.  Articles can be submitted to info@newbedfordguide.com.  Here is an article submitted by the James Roy campaign.  James is running for Ward 5 City Council against incumbent Jane Gonsalves.  Learn more about him on his website and Facebook page.

James Roy is an aspiring lawyer, loyal husband, dedicated city servant, and part of a growing generation of young New Bedford residents who are stepping up to take an active role in the city’s continued renewal.

Despite a challenging upbringing in the city – marked by financial hardship, an often unstable home life, and the loss of his parents (Kathy Roy and Michael MacMullen)- James found direction and a sense of hope through a transformative experience at New Bedford High School. There, he immersed himself in the school’s award-winning music and theatre arts programs. The surrogate family he formed through the drama club and chorus gave him a sense of belonging and kept him off the streets.

Unfortunately, not having parents around or anyone in his family that attended college, James found it difficult navigating the college application/financial aid process. So, he went to work. In his late teens and early twenties, James manufactured circuit boards in a factory, audited orthopedic implants across the United States, managed restaurants, and sold air -time for our local radio stations. However, as time passed and James matured, his thirst for knowledge grew. He had questions; he craved answers, so he enrolled at Bristol Community College (BCC).

James received his associate’s degree from BCC and was awarded a full tuition, merit based scholarship to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMD). He then graduated number one in his class from UMD, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science. Currently, James is pursuing graduate studies at Roger Williams University School of Law. There, he has been recognized as a Leadership Scholar – a testament to his service in the community and his achievement. James will earn his Juris Doctorate in the Spring of 2012.

It was during his time at UMD that James realized his calling to public service. He was inspired by the brave patriots that founded our republic, the social movements of the 1960’s, and a generation once thought to be the most apathetic, unite to elect the first African American president. After receiving his undergraduate degree, James landed a great job working for the City of New Bedford. As the program director for the city’s Community Alcohol Prevention Program, James worked with a tight budget to successfully develop strategies to keep the youth of our community safe and healthy. There, he learned the power of community organizing and volunteerism and gained invaluable insight into New Bedford’s daunting problems and incredible potential.

James is active in the community: He serves his hometown through community service, leading by example in his work with organizations ranging from the Hunger Commission of Southeastern Massachusetts to Operation Clean Sweep. He sings with the Occasion Singers at fundraiser events like Relay for Life and is a member of the Little Theatre of Fall River. He is also a member of Roger William University’s Pro Bono Collaborative.

Today, James is proud to call Ward 5 home – a place where he has chosen to start a family with his wife Cynthia (herself a public school teacher). He continues to be an advocate for public education, youth empowerment, and the economic and environmental health of our city. Like our great city, James Roy has faced a number of challenges throughout his life. He has shown that he can persevere – and he believes that our city can as well. His wealth of experience, his youthful energy and creativity, and his passion for New Bedford and its people make him an ideal candidate for Ward 5 City Councilor.

James will move New Bedford forward by:

  • Fostering a Climate that Attracts Businesses: The City Council sets the tone that investors listen to. In order to attract investors, increase our tax base, and create jobs, the Council must compliment the Economic Development Council, support aggressive job creation efforts like Tiff agreements, and foster a pro-business climate by being cooperative, professional, and reliable.
  • UtilizingTechnology: Technology-like smart phone apps, text messaging, and a well-developed website, can bridge the divide between government and the people. For example, technology can be used to educate and inform the community regarding city matters (like the Buttonwood Park Zoo expansion) and get feedback from the community before voting. Additionally, technology should be utilized to expedite the repair of city sidewalks and streets and allow constituents to report problems and track the status of their request/inquiry.
  • PromotingWalkability:” Walkable neighborhoods offer enormous benefits to our health, our environment, our finances, and our community. Therefore, James will increase the number of crosswalks, repair damaged lights and sidewalks, construct foot paths and bike lanes, plant trees, create an official dog park, and push for community policing to create a safe, walkable ward.
  • ActivatingtheCommunity: By activating and mobilizing the community to volunteer and get involved in issues that are meaningful and important to them James knows we can work within the city’s budget and do more with less. Moreover, fostering civic engagement creates a sustainable government and enables the residents of New Bedford to feel personally responsible for the success of our great city.

Please know, James has been working hard to connect with the residents of Ward 5 since he first announced plans to run for the New Bedford City Council seat. He’s thrown successful fundraisers, held meet and greets on AHA! in downtown New Bedford, and held coffee hours throughout the ward. Also, James’ door-to-door campaign is underway, as of late October he knocked on an estimated 4,000 doors. James intends to knock on every door in Ward 5 to share with residents his abilities, vision, and commitment to the City of New Bedford. Most importantly, however, he wants the people of Ward 5 to know they have a choice this election year; after all, his opponent has held the Ward 5 City Council seat for a very long time: nearly two decades.

Please check out votejamesroy.com to read more about ways James plans to move our city forward and to see campaign event photos. Also, don’t hesitate to email James at jamesmichaelroy@gmail.com with any questions. He would love to hear from you.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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