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David Cicilline

(1961 - )

David Cicilline is a Jewish American politician and current Representative in Congress from Rhode Island.

Cicilline was born on July 15, 1961, on the South Side of Providence, Rhode Island, and later moved with his family to Narragansett, Rhode Island. His mother is Jewish and father an Italian American. Cicilline calls himself a “practicing Jew.” 

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 and a neighboring section of Pawtucket 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, Cicilline was elected mayor of the City of Providence and was the first openly gay mayor of a U.S. state capital. Under Cicilline's leadership, Providence saw $3 billion in new investment and restored vibrancy to downtown and the 25 neighborhoods of the city. Under his leadership, Providence saw crime drop to its lowest rate in 30 years. The city also began expansive educational reform, with a new core curriculum, award-winning after-school programs, and a revamp of facilities and teacher hiring guidelines.

On November 2, 2010, Cicilline was elected as a Democrat to be U.S. Representative for Rhode Island's 1st congressional district. He has been reelected five times, most recently 2020.

Cicilline is a strong supporter of Israel. He believes Israel must retain its qualitative military edge and supports providing the counry additional military aid. He also believes Jerusalem is the capital of Israel but was concerned that moving the U.S. Embassy was shortsighted. He also thinks the United States has an important role to play in promoting peace in the region.

Cicilline supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and criticized President Trump for withdrawing from the nuclear agreement with Iran. He says he will continue to support legislation that punishes Iran for its bad behavior on a number of fronts, including support for terrorism, human rights abuses, the building of inter-continental ballistic missiles, and any attempts to seek nuclear weapons.

Following the insurrection in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, Cicilline helped draft the article of impeachment accusing President Trump of “high crimes and misdemeanors” that was adopted by the House of Representatives on January 13, 2021.

Sources: David Cicilline;