McCarter: Curry bridge dedication cements his legacy in our community

JENKINTOWN, Aug. 31 – State Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, was joined by an abundance of community members and local, state and federal elected officials today in designating the bridge at the Jenkintown-Wyncote Train Station the Honorable Lawrence H. Curry Bridge in honor of former state Rep. Larry Curry, who served the 154th Legislative District with intelligence and equanimity for 20 years until his retirement in 2012.

The bridge dedication was sponsored by McCarter and made official by an act of the legislature and the approval of Gov. Tom Wolf.

"During his lengthy time in Harrisburg, Larry was often at the forefront of issues that disproportionately affect working families, senior citizens and children, frequently reaching across the aisle to further those just causes," McCarter said. "It is right and fitting that a bridge builder such as Larry be honored with a bridge in his name in the heart of the community that he championed for so long and so well."

Those joining McCarter included:

  • PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards;
  • State Sen. Art Haywood;
  • State Rep. Dwight Evans;
  • Montgomery County Commissioners’ Vice Chair Dr. Valerie Arkoosh;
  • Anthony Luker, district office director for Congressman Brendan Boyle;
  • Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners President Morton (Mickey) J. Simon Jr.;
  • Jenkintown Borough Council President Deborra Sines Pancoe;
  • Jenkintown Borough Mayor Ed Foley; and
  • Former state Rep. Lawrence Curry.

"We are honored to name this bridge for a man whose life has been dedicated to public service," Richards said. "From the halls of the House of Representatives in Harrisburg, to the classrooms, to the streets fighting for equality, Larry Curry stands for the spirit of active, informed citizenship that is a model to be emulated."

"As someone who started my career in politics with Larry Curry when I was elected to the Pennsylvania state House in 2008, I know that I join a long list of my colleagues in highlighting his outstanding accomplishments, both in Harrisburg and here in our community," Boyle said. "This dedication will serve as a continual reminder to residents across our region of Larry’s dedication to his constituents, and doing what he has over the course of his career to make our neighborhoods a better place to live, work and raise a family."

"Representative Curry dedicated his life to public service and civil rights," Haywood said. "I am pleased to honor him by joining in the dedication of this the bridge that joins Jenkintown and Cheltenham."

Curry was a champion for education and for middle-class families. He spearheaded an initiative to have bisphenol-A, commonly known as BPA, removed from some baby products in Pennsylvania to minimize the risk of side effects in infants.

"For 20 years, the community and the commonwealth were blessed to have Larry Curry working for all of us in Harrisburg and beyond with love, passion and dedication," Evans said. "His commitment to righteous ideals has neither wavered nor slackened since, and we’re all in his debt. Larry, thank you for being you and thank you for showing us what caring, bipartisanship and perseverance can accomplish. A bridge dedicated to his efforts is truly appropriate, for Larry spans the breadth of what is the best among us — devotion and service to humanity."

"This new bridge is a fitting tribute to Larry Curry," Arkoosh said. "He is a man who spent a career building bridges — bridges that led to improved lives for thousands of Montgomery County residents. He is an example of a leader who cares deeply about his community, fights tirelessly for those who are unable to fight for themselves and a politician who does not let party get in the way of progress. On a personal note, he has been a true friend and mentor to me and I hope I can live up to his example and his legacy."

Simon said, "I owe Larry Curry a lot. He taught me the importance of knocking on doors and how to do it. If there was ever somebody people were always happy to see at their front door, it was Larry."

"It is fitting that the Greenwood Avenue Bridge be dedicated in honor of Larry Curry," Pancoe said. "Larry has been a bridge-builder over the course of his life’s work as an educator and legislator. He and Shirley are role models for so many of us; as activists, mentors, leaders, progressive thinkers, the Currys have given so much. The Curry legacy is one of service, education and action."

During his time in the House, Curry had multiple pieces of legislation signed into law. These included increased safety regulations for hospices and the creation of the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Education and Prevention Program, which provided for education for parents about the syndrome.

"It’s comforting to know that long after we're all gone, there will still be a Curry serving the people of the 154th Legislative District," Foley said.

Curry served the 154th Legislative District as state representative from 1992 until 2012.