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He was raised in Providence before moving to Narragansett.In high school, he served as president of his graduating class and participated in the Close Up Washington civic education program before heading to Brown University, where he established a branch of the College Democrats with his classmate, John F. He took a degree in political science, graduating magna cum laude in 1983. C., for a while to work as a lawyer at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia.As mayor, he sought to implement a streetcar/light rail-type system for the city. He won passage of a vacant-and-abandoned property penalty, to provide an economic disincentive for banks to keep properties off the housing market for extended periods of time.He also proposed municipal bonds for the purpose of buying foreclosed properties to expand housing.While there, he told an interviewer that he now supported Barack Obama, saying "[t]here is a real sense of hope and optimism about what we're about to do and about a chance in leadership in this country".On June 8, 2008, Marco Riz, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala who had been arrested twice the previous year while under a deportation order, was charged with the robbery and rape of a 30-year-old woman.A Brown University survey in September 2007 found that 64 percent of state residents approved of the job Cicilline was doing in Providence.
A former state legislator, he overcame the animosity between state and city government that had existed under Cianci.The mayor claimed the taxpayers had been given relief because the city had made errors on their taxes, not because they were his friends or contributors. On May 10, 2009, Robert Ceprano filed a lawsuit against the City of Providence alleging conspiracy, corruption, libel and wrongful termination. Cicilline, the mayor's imprisoned brother, of attempting to defraud the City of Providence by writing a bad check for ,000 on behalf of a delinquent taxpayer.Furthermore, it alleges, the mayor and his aides "willfully conspired..conceal John M. Ceprano also charges that he was fired not for poor job performance, but because he resisted the mayor's efforts to perform tax favors for political friends and supporters. Shortly after assuming office, Cicilline's successor as the Mayor of the City of Providence, Angel Taveras, announced that the City was facing a "category 5" hurricane due to its substantial debt.Tavares was compelled to engage in austerity cuts including teacher layoffs and paycuts for city employees.A report commissioned by the City of Providence found that the Cicilline administration had transferred funds from the Undesignated Surplus (the city's cash reserves) without the proper approval of the City Council, had not provided financial information on a timely basis to the independent auditor, the City Council or the Internal Auditor, and had not provided the City Council with monthly financial statements or with projections of year-end surpluses or deficits, among other findings.
And in September 2008, his popularity fell to 46 percent.