David Cicilline

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David Cicilline

David Cicilline was elected to serve Rhode Island's First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives on November 2, 2010.


David Cicilline was born on the South Side of Providence, one of five children of Jack Cicilline and Sabra Cicilline and later moved with his family to Narragansett, Rhode Island.

David Cicilline became interested in public service for the first time – regularly asking his parents to drop him off to attend school board and Town Council meetings. As a teenager, he organized a successful petition drive demanding that his school add Italian language classes to its curriculum. After graduating from Narragansett High School, David attended Brown University as an undergraduate and later earned a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.

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.[1]

Political career

In 1995, David began his career in public service in the Rhode Island House of Representatives, where 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, David Cicillinewas elected mayor on a pledge to restore public confidence in City Hall, reestablish financial responsibility, and revitalize the city’s neighborhoods.

As Mayor of Providence, Cicilline produced unprecedented results by leading a comprehensive transformation of city government based on honesty, transparency, and accountability. Under his leadership, Providence received national awards for fiscal reporting and earned A’s from all three major bond-rating agencies. David helped attract nearly $3 billion in new investment, restoring vibrancy to the downtown and the city’s 25 neighborhoods. During his tenure, Providence realized a drop in crime to its lowest rate in more than 40 years, bucking the national trend. The city also conducted expansive education reform, instituting a new core curriculum and award-winning after-school programs, and revamping school facilities and teacher hiring guidelines. With the goal of developing a comprehensive 21st century transit system and expanding economic development in the region, David also brought together leaders of surrounding municipalities to create the Transit 2020 initiative.

David Cicilline was elected to serve Rhode Island's First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives on November 2, 2010.[2]

CLW 2020 endorsement


David Cicilline for House (D-RI-01)

Rep. David Cicilline was first elected to the House in 2010. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, he has worked diligently to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and focused on expanding human rights around the world.

This past year, Ciccilline opposed funding for new low-yield nuclear weapons and supported extending the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty. In early 2020, he voted to limit President Trump’s war making powers in Iran after the U.S. and Iran came close to full-scale war.

Cicilline argues, “The Iran Deal prevented Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, and the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from this agreement was reckless and short-sighted. It’s clear that President Trump did so without a plan for what comes next.”

Cicilline attended Brown University and Georgetown Law School. He is a former two-term Mayor of Providence and served four terms in the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

DARE connection

Direct Action for Rights and Equality had, a few years earlier, channeled the anger of the community through a 500-person direct action on the same mayor Cianci, shutting down city hall for the afternoon. DARE had a number of important demands, from the removal of the officers responsible for the killing of Cornel Young, Jr., an off-duty policeman who was the son of the city's highest-ranking Black officer, to an independent investigation, to a civilian review board.

The mayor gave no positive responses that day, and continued to assert to the press that race had nothing to do with Young's death. But the pressure created by DARE's direct action made the city consider the longstanding racism within the police Department, and wake up to the need for institutional change. It was a sea change.

By no coincidence, DARE had marshaled itself to respond quickly and effectively to the crisis. In the early `90s, the organization's membership had already identified police brutality as a serious community problem, and created a campaign around police accountability.

After the police department refused to turn over records of civilian complaints against officers, DARE won a five-year lawsuit with help from the ACLU, forcing the city to make these records public. After members had attempted to work with the department's Internal Affairs Bureau, they recognized that system of "police policing the police" did not work and would not ever work.

In 1997, with leadership from former DARE lead organizer Rob Baril, DARE did research on civilian review boards across the country. When members talked with the City Council members about their proposal, they realized it would not pass at the time. They did not abandon the campaign as a whole, but went about the business of continuing to develop leaders who had experienced police brutality and who could speak up against it.

On January 28, 2000, when Cornel Young, Jr., was shot and killed by (white) fellow policemen, it was these members who led the organization in creating the public pressure necessary to bring about change: mothers whose sons had been brutally beaten by Providence police and who were committed to seeking justice not only for their sons but for the entire community.

In addition, under the leadership of Shannah Kurland (then DARE Executive Director, earlier Lead Organizer during the daycare providers' health insurance campaign), all the resources of DARE, staff and members, were temporarily focused on this one issue, building up to the mass direct action.

For this multi-issue organization that works on three to four campaigns at a time, this was a significant decision that created an incredible level of unity, purpose and power.

Following the direct action on city hall, DARE was able to use the momentum generated to push for and win real institutional change. The organization worked with City Council members, then State Representative, criminal defense attorney and future mayor David Cicilline, and multiple community and religious organizations such as the Ministers Alliance of Rhode Island and the Center for Police and Community, to develop a proposal for civilian review of the Providence Police Department: the Providence External Review Authority (PERA).

After the first city council passage in the summer of 2002, then-mayor Cianci vetoed the ordinance establishing PERA. DARE reintroduced the ordinance in City Council when Cianci was no longer mayor, and the interim mayor signed PERA into law in November 2002.

Since that time, the Board Members have been appointed, with DARE's Police Accountability Organizer, Mary Kay Harris, elected to the position of Chairperson of the Board. PERA has secured funding and hopes to begin taking complaints this year.[3]

Helped write proposal

On October 10 2002, the Providence City Council's Ordinance Committee held a public hearing at 6 p.m. at City Hall on the proposed Providence External Review Authority (PERA), a 20-member panel that would hear complaints and issue non-binding recommendations to the chief regarding police discipline.

In June, the council passed the ordinance, but then-Mayor Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci Jr. vetoed it. Cianci's departure from office, however, has raised new hopes that the proposal will become law. As council president, Acting Mayor John J. Lombardi was a supporter of the proposal, and the likely next mayor, state Representative David Cicilline, backs the idea and helped Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE) to draft the proposal.[4]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

In 2011 David Cicilline was a new member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[5]

RIARA award

August 26, 2011 Social Security and Medicare Hero Award presented to Rep. David Cicilline by Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans.[6]

Social Security Equality Rally

On April 26, 2012, a Social Security Equality Rally was held in Washington DC.

Rally Speakers were - Congresswoman Linda Sanchez D- CA, Sponsor, Lorri L. Jean, CEO LA G&L Center, Rea Carey, NGLTF ED, Michael Adams, ED, SAGE Personalities Hal Sparks and George (& Brad Takei)

A Luncheon was held in conjunction with : Congressman David Cicilline, D-RI & Craig Miller, AIDS Community Action Foundation.[7]

PDA contact

In 2013 Progressive Democrats of America assigned activists to deliver their material to almost every US Congressman and several Senators. Ed Benson, was assigned as contact for Rep. Cicilline.[8]

ARA endorsement, 2012=

The Alliance for Retired Americans endorsed David Cicilline in 2012.[9]

2013 ARA conference


Keith Ellison, Jan Schakowsky, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and David Cicilline addressed Alliance for Retired Americans 2013 conference.

Chained CPI


N. Providence, RI - Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans holds meeting w/Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Reps. Jim Langevin & David Cicilline against the chained CPI, July 2, 2013.

ARA PAF endorsement, 2014

The Alliance for Retired Americans Political Action Fund endorsed David Cicilline in 2014.[10]

"Amnesty Tour"

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) was due to kick off his nationwide executive amnesty educational tour in Rhode Island January 15, 2015.

Gutierrez will reportedly join Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and other local leaders for an “immigration forum” on President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty on January 14 at the Providence Career and Technical Academy. The event will mark the beginning of his “nationwide education tour” to educate illegal immigrants about Obama’s executive amnesty and encourage those who qualify to apply.

Gutierrez said that “more people to sign up, the more unlikely you’ll ever unravel” Obama’s executive amnesty. After Obama’s executive amnesty announcement, an ecstatic Gutierrez said it was now up to him and other community leaders to help find as many illegal immigrants as possible who can qualify to receive executive amnesty and work permits.

The Diocese of Providence, Progreso Latino, and Dorcas International co-hosted the forum.[11]

No cuts rally

Scores of seniors came to the U.S. Capitol October 2013, joined hands with Members of Congress, and formed a human chain in opposition to the Chained CPI formula and all benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The Congressional Progressive Caucus hosted the demonstration, as Alliance for Retired Americans members joined with Social Security Works and other allies. The event was emceed by Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Keith Ellison (D-MN). Other Members of Congress at the event included Reps. Cheri Bustos (IL); David Cicilline (RI); Yvette Clarke (NY); John Conyers (MI); Elijah Cummings (MD); Rosa DeLauro (CT); Alan Grayson (FL); Mike Honda (CA); Steven Horsford (NV); Barbara Lee (CA); Sheila Jackson Lee (TX); Alan Lowenthal (CA); Dan Maffei (NY); Carolyn Maloney (NY); Jerrold Nadler (NY); Mark Pocan (WI); Jan Schakowsky (IL); Mark Takano (CA); and Paul Tonko (NY).[12]

“Worker and Community Speak Out for Good Jobs.."

Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline are among those expected to attend a “Worker and Community Speak Out for Good Jobs and Quality Care at Lifespan” rally to be held at Our Lady of the Rosary Church on Benefit St on Saturday, January 17 2015.

The 4pm rally is also set to feature State Representative Aaron Regunberg, Providence City Councilwoman Carmen Castillo, and Rhode Island Hospital workers and community leaders.

According to a press release from Jobs with Justice, “Lifespan is investing tens of millions of dollars into Epic, a new system of electronic patient records. But tensions are rising over workers' rights and patient care issues just as Lifespan is moving to train employees and go live with Epic at Rhode Island Hospital.”

“The community stands with RI Hospital employees in their campaign for Good Jobs & Quality Patient Care at Lifespan and RI Hospital,” said Jesse Strecker, Executive Director of Rhode Island Jobs with Justice. “As a non-profit institution, Lifespan has a responsibility to ensure that its decisions put people first. Unfortunately, management at RI Hospital has decided that paying their top ten executives more than $16 million is a higher priority than making sure that the hospital has adequate staffing, and that employees have job security, fair wages, and a safe retirement.”[13]

Rally To Save Our health Care

January 2017, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline will join with Rhode Island workers, seniors, families, and health experts for a rally to prevent the dismantling of America’s health care system and the rush to gut the Affordable Care Act.

The members of the state’s Congressional delegation will join with citizens from across the state in speaking out against Republican budget proposals that would deprive millions of Americans of affordable health insurance and severely undermine Medicare and Medicaid.

The event will take place on Sunday, January 15 at the Johnston Senior Center. The speaking program will begin at 1 p.m.

The event was hosted by Rhode Island Jobs with Justice.[14]

2015 Cuba visit

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi traveled with a congressional congregation to Cuba mid February 2015.

The trip is the first official House delegation to travel to the island nation since President Barack Obama announced late last year an easing of trade restrictions with the Castro regime.

“This delegation travels to Cuba in friendship and to build upon the announcement of U.S. normalization of relations and other initiatives announced by President Obama,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. “This delegation will work to advance the U.S.-Cuba relationship and build on the work done by many in the Congress over the years, especially with respect to agriculture and trade.”

The delegation includes Democratic Reps. Eliot Engel of New York, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Anna Eshoo of California, Nydia Velazquez of New York, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Steve Israel of New York and David Cicilline of Rhode Island. Engel is the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The lawmakers will meet with Cuban government officials, Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino and local community leaders.[15]

Pelosi and Israel met with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, in Havana February 18, 2015.[16]

The delegates also met Cuban Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel, marking the first time Cuba's heir apparent to power has received an official American delegation.

Nancy Pelosi and the eight other House Democrats concluded their two-day visit by meeting Diaz-Canel, 54, who is first in line to the seat of power held by brothers Fidel Castro and Raul Castro since 1959.

The nine Democrats, all supporters of U.S. President Barack Obama's policy change on the Communist-led island, were due to be escorted directly to the airport after the meeting.

Diaz-Canel and the Americans talked about Cuba's market-style economic reforms, bilateral relations and prospects of the U.S. Congress lifting the country's 53-year-old trade embargo of Cuba, official Cuban media reported.[17]

2016 Cuba visit

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and 16 other House Democrats will join President Barack Obama on his historic trip to Cuba March 20-22.

Obama will be the first president to visit Cuba in 88 years, and the trip is a symbolic next chapter in his attempts to normalize relations with the country.

The House members will attend along with several senators who previously announced they will make the trip.

The House delegation includes Reps. Karen Bass, Cheri Bustos, Sam Farr, Rosa DeLauro, Barbara Lee, Charles Rangel, Kathy Castor, David Cicilline, Steve Cohen, Jan Schakowsky, Peter Welch, Alan Lowenthal, Jim McGovern and Lucille Roybal-Allard. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra of California will also travel to Cuba along with Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Tom Udall of New Mexico are slated to join the trip. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who has been a leading advocate for normalizing relations with Cuba, will also attend. Additional House Republicans may also join.

Pelosi previously led the first official House delegation trip to the country after Obama announced the change in U.S. policy toward Cuba in 2014.[18]

PDA endorsement


In September 2016 Progressive Democrats of Rhode Island endorsed David Cicilline.

Mosque visit


May 21 2017 Mufti Ikram ul Haq of Masjid Al-Islam held an open day at his Rhode Island mosque. Rep. David Cicilline was one of the guests.

The Rhode Island Council for Muslim Advancement organised mosque openings across the state.

Russian propaganda letter

April 25, 2018 Press Release Washington, DC – Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17) and Congressman David Cicilline (RI-01) are leading more than 50 House Republicans and Democrats in pushing for the U.S. Department of State to exert diplomatic pressure on Ukraine and Poland for recent in incidents of state-sponsored Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism.

“We urge you to join us and human rights organizations in standing against anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and all forms of intolerance by calling for the Polish and Ukrainian governments to unequivocally reject Holocaust distortion and the honoring of Nazi collaborators and fully prosecute anti-Semitic crimes,” the Members wrote in a letter to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan. “We also ask that you detail what steps are being taken by the United States (U.S.) government to monitor instances of Holocaust distortion and ensure that the U.S. is not supporting or funding groups and individuals that promote or justify anti-Semitism. We believe these steps must include a firm request that these offensive laws be repealed...”
Last November, Radio Free Europe reported on the presence of torches and Nazi salutes at a 20,000-person march in honor of the 75th anniversary of the UPA. These torchlight marches are closely linked to organizations such as the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, an armed group that was prohibited from receiving U.S. weapons and training by the recently signed Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. Rather than disband Azov, the government incorporated it into the Ukrainian National Guard overseen by the Ministry of the Interior. The group is widely known to be closely connected to Interior Minister Arsen Avakov...
Therefore, we respectfully request that you respond to our serious concerns with a detailed description of what actions the State Department is taking to work with the Polish and Ukrainian governments, and other governments in the region, to combat the rise of anti-Semitism and Holocaust-denial and distortion.
Additionally, at this moment that anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial is increasing around the world, we ask that you immediately appoint someone for the position of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism. The longer this position, which has worldwide reach, sits unfilled, the more it sends the message that the U.S. will tolerate anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. Moreover, we recognize the important work that is carried out by the Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, and ask that you ensure that his office has the resources necessary to meet the growing challenges in this arena.[19]April 25, 2018 Press Release

"Green New Deal"

From the Sunrise Movement:[20]

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has released a proposal for a Select Committee on a Green New Deal, a plan that would transform our economy and society at the scale needed to stop the climate crisis.

We have the momentum to make a Green New Deal real, but we need a critical mass of Congresspeople to support the proposal.

Take action on Dec. 10 to show Congress the Green New Deal is a top priority.

Congressional supporters by December 20 2018 included David Cicilline.

HR 109 endorser

By February 20 2019 endorsers of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's HR 109 (Green New Deal) included David Cicilline.

Medicare For All Congressional Caucus founders

In August 2018 Medicare For All Congressional Caucus founding members included Representative David Cicilline.

Medicare for All Act

In February 2019 Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduced H.R.1384 - Medicare for All Act of 2019. By May 29 she had 110 co-sponsors including Rep. David Cicilline.

DSA pressure on Yemen Bill


IE DSA - Inland Empire Democratic Socialists of America July 8 2019.

URGENT: Tomorrow, Tuesday 7/9, the House Rules Committee will consider whether to allow a floor vote on Rep. Ro Khanna's legislation to end US participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen (Amendment 339 to the National Defense Authorization Act.) The DSA International Committee urges members to call their reps in support.

The Congressional switchboard is 202-225-3121. You can say something like:

“I urge you to co-sponsor, speak out for and vote for the Khanna-Schiff amendment to end all U.S. participation in the Saudi-UAE war in Yemen. Yemeni kids' lives are hanging on your vote.”

Key Congress members — If your Rep is on this list, please contact them immediately and urge them to cosponsor Amendment 339:

Pelosi, Hoyer, Engel, Smith, Lieu, Nadler, Lowey, Jim Himes, Ted Deutch, Brad Sherman, Meeks, Bass, Connolly, Susan Davis, Jim McGovern, Langevin, Moulton, Gallego, Houlahan, Cicilline, Slotkin, Mikie Sherrill, Luria, Spanberger, Wild, Malinowski.


The following are past and present staff:[21]


  1. http://cicilline.house.gov/about-me/full-biography Official Congressional bio, accessed July 28, 2011
  2. http://cicilline.house.gov/about-me/full-biography Official Congressional bio, accessed July 28, 2011
  3. ATC, DARE's Struggles in Rhode Island— Paul Buhle 110, May-June 2004
  4. [http://www.providencephoenix.com/archive/features/02/09/26/POLICE.html The phoenix WEDNESDAY, JAN. 20 2016 PROVIDENCE POLICE Proponents renew push for civilian review BY STEVEN STYCOS]
  5. Congressional Progressive Caucus website, accessed April 2, 2011
  6. Social Security and Medicare Hero Award presented to Rep. David Cicilline 8-26-11
  7. , Rock for Equality April 28, 2012 Social Security Equality Rally 4/26/12
  8. PDA May 2013 Educate Congress Digest Letter drops (191 in total – 105 in April )
  9. PAF
  10. PAF
  12. [http://retiredamericans.org/newsroom/friday-alert-archives/view/2013-10-activists-at-us-capitol-warn-dont-use-shutdown-to-cu ARA Activists at U.S. Capitol Warn: “Don’t Use Shutdown to Cut Benefits for Seniors” October 04, 2013]
  13. [http://www.golocalprov.com/news/new-ri-jobs-with-justice-calling-for-good-jobs-quality-care-at-lifespan GoLocalProvNewsNEW: RI Jobs With Justice Calling for “Good Jobs & Quality Care” at Lifespan Twitter Favicon Facebook Favicon Digg Favicon Reddit Favicon StumbleUpon Favicon del.icio.us Favicon Email to a friend Permalink Friday, January 16, 2015]
  14. To Save Our health Care Public · Hosted by Rhode-Island Jobs with Justice
  15. Politico, Nancy Pelosi leads House delegation to Cuba By Lauren French 2/17/15
  16. Getty images
  17. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/20/us-cuba-usa-idUSKBN0LN2B520150220, Reuters Feb 19, 2015 9:56pm EST Related: POLITICS, CUBA Congressional delegation meets Cuba's heir apparent HAVANA | BY DANIEL TROTTA]
  18. Politico, Pelosi, 16 House Democrats to join Obama trip to Cuba By Lauren French,| 03/14/16
  20. [1]
  21. http://www.legistorm.com/member/2791/Rep_David_Cicilline_RI.html. Accessed 12/16/2011