With a little more than a month to go before the candidacy declaration period, the field of hopefuls for seats on the City Council continues to take shape.
Larry O. Warner, who currently serves as director of grants and strategic initiatives with United Way of Rhode Island, on Tuesday announced his citywide candidacy as a Democrat.
“Serving the community is important to me, and I feel that there is great potential to make a positive impact as a member of the Cranston City Council,” Warner said in a statement. “My background in public health has helped me understand the importance of local government in addressing factors that affect our daily lives.”
He added: “I am running because we need to close the gaps that we have in our community in public health and in factors that influence our health. As a member of the Cranston City Council, I believe that I will be able to use my experiences to help create policies that build a more equitable Cranston. My campaign will be focused on bringing members of the community and other stakeholders together to find solutions for health disparities in our City, as well as find ways to foster better quality of life and economic development here in Cranston.”
“I’m excited that someone with Larry’s experience and expertise is stepping up to run for City Council,” Democratic Ward 3 Councilman John Donegan said in the statement. “We need more elected officials that are willing to have difficult conversations and pursue policies that will lead to a more equitable and just Cranston for everyone. I look forward to serving with Larry next term.”
Warner has previously served as the strategic initiative officer for Healthy Lives at the Rhode Island Foundation. In the past, he has also worked as a firefighter/EMT and training officer with the Providence Fire Department; as a part-time dispatcher at the University of Rhode Island; and as a disaster specialist with the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Warner’s statement outlines a number of volunteer roles in which he has served, including as co-chair of the Rhode Island Commission for Health Advocacy and Equity and as a member of the Planning Committee at Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island. He is an alumnus of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence Ten Men initiative and a volunteer pilot with Pilots N Paws, a group that helps rescued animals become adopted.
According to Warner’s statement, he is the first member of his family to have attended college. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degree at Brown University and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Public Health degree in health equity and social justice at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Warner and his wife, Dr. Tammy Vargas Warner, have lived in Cranston’s Woodridge neighborhood for 12 years. They have three sons, including one Cranston High School West graduate and two current Cranston Public Schools students.
With City Council President Michael Farina, Citywide Councilman Ken Hopkins and Citywide Councilman Steve Stycos – the latter of whom is also term-limited – having declared their candidacy for mayor, all three citywide seats on the council are set to be open in this year’s election.
Warner joins Paul Archetto, a former councilman and the current Ward 3 representative on the School Committee, in the Democratic citywide field thus far. On the Republican side, Robert Ferri announced his plans for a citywide bid last year.