David Cicilline was born on the South Side of Providence and later moved with his family to Narragansett, Rhode Island. In 1983, he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in political science from Brown University, where as an undergraduate he established a branch of the College Democrats with his classmate, the late John F. Kennedy, Jr. He earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and served as a public defender in the District of Columbia before returning to Rhode Island to open a practice in civil rights law and criminal defense.
Cicilline began his career in public service in the Rhode Island House of Representatives, where he represented the East Side of Providence for four terms. He quickly earned a reputation as a fierce champion of political reform and gun safety, and his dedication to ethics in government won him Common Cause's #1 ranking.
In 2002, when the City of Providence was buckling under a $59 million deficit, a neglected infrastructure, and the legacy of decades of corruption, Cicilline was elected mayor on his pledge to restore public confidence in City Hall and to revitalize the city's neighborhoods. Since then, he has led a comprehensive transformation of city government based on honesty, transparency, and accountability.
Since taking office, Mayor Cicilline has produced unprecedented results. "Something remarkable is happening here. A city long renowned for the rackets and graft is being cleaned up by a reform-minded mayor. For Providence, it really is a new day," observed David Broder of The Washington Post.
Today, innovative tracking technology monitors the efficiency of service delivery. More than 14% of city management positions have been eliminated. Providence has received national awards for fiscal reporting and has earned A's from all three major bond rating agencies. With confidence in the Mayor's leadership, foundation-funded public-private collaborations created the Pathways to Opportunity Office and Full Service Community Schools, which together work to better ensure that children and families have the support they need for education and employment.
In 2006, Mayor Cicilline launched his Transit 2020 initiative to ensure economic growth through the development of a comprehensive 21st century transit system. Under Mayor Cicilline's leadership, the City has seen nearly $3 billion in new investment and a return of vibrancy to downtown and the 25 neighborhoods of the city. Providence's reputation as one of the great boutique cities for fine art and fine dining is growing around the world. The Wall Street Journal recently called Providence one of the top ten up-and-coming global tourist destinations.
Under Mayor Cicilline's leadership, Providence has seen crime drop to its lowest rate in more than 40 years, bucking the national trend. The city also has begun expansive educational reform, with a new core curriculum, award-winning after-school programs, and a revamp of facilities and teacher hiring guidelines.
Since the onset of a state budget crisis and the national recession, Mayor Cicilline has fought to protect the gains that Providence worked so hard to achieve over his two terms as mayor. He has been active in national organizations and given Providence a voice in the most influential policy discussions. He has advocated persuasively for structural reforms at the state level. He has held a firm line in demanding public employee contracts that are fair to taxpayers and to City employees.
David Cicilline believes in the boundless potential of the City of Providence.