Cambridge Mayor Bows Out of City Council Race

Longtime elected official served city for 26 years

Cambridge mayor Henrietta J. Davis announced Monday that she will not seek reelection to the City Council in November, a decision that likely brings to an end her 26-year career as a Cambridge elected official.

In a written statement, Davis, 68, expressed her gratitude to the people of Cambridge for giving her “the opportunity to serve” for 18 years on the City Council, including two as mayor, and before that, for eight years on the Cambridge School Committee.

“After thirteen successful elections I’m putting away my yard signs and leaving the campaign events to others,” she wrote. “I will miss walking up and down our beautiful streets and the face-to-face meetings with Cambridge residents at their homes and hearing their ideas and concerns.”

Davis also wrote that she plans to remain civically active in the city.

“I’ll still be fighting for equity and opportunity for all Cambridge citizens (especially young people), and making sure Cambridge continues to become a model for a healthy, sustainable city, and a community that is welcoming and supportive to all our residents,” wrote Davis, who made environmental sustainability and child welfare and education central tenets of her political agenda.

Davis was first elected to the Cambridge School Committee in 1987 after working as an administrator at the Agassiz Preschool in Somerville. In 1995, she was elected to the City Council, and in subsequent Council elections Davis trumpeted the work she did on the School Committee to improve schoolchildren’s access to vaccinations as well as her vision for a greener Cambridge.

In February 2012, Davis was elected to the mayoralty by her colleagues on the City Council following weeks of political gridlock. Her term as mayor ends in 2014.

Seven of the current nine City Councillors are expected to run for reelection this November. In addition to Davis, Councillor Marjorie C. Decker has said that she does not plan to run—Decker was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2012 and at that time made it clear that if elected to the Legislature, she would not seek reelection to the Council.

Currently, there are 22 total candidates contesting for the nine City Council positions. Among them is a Harvard College student, Logan E. Leslie ’16, who is campaigning on a promise to bridge the town-gown divide.

—Staff writer Sonali Y. Salgado can be reached at ssalgado@college.harvard.edu. Follow her on Twitter @SonaliSalgado16.

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