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E. Denise Simmons

E. Denise Simmons is the mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts and the first openly lesbian African-American mayor in the country. Simmons has been deeply committed to civic engagement in her home city of Cambridge throughout her life. As Cambridge City Councilor, she led the formation of the city’s LGBT Commission, a 14-member advocacy group. During her 10 years on the Cambridge School Committee, Simmons acted as family liaison to the LGBT community, bridging the gap between schools and LGBT families. She is also a small business owner and a justice of the peace. “I provide tangible evidence of what a lesbian, a woman, a person of color or even what a parent going it alone can do,” she says. –JB

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