Cambridge mayor mulls attending Trump’s inauguration

Cambridge, MA- 11-21-16: Cambridge Mayor E.Denis Simmons is pictured during the "Pledge of Allegiance" at the start of a Cambridge City Council Meeting. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff) reporter: sachets topic: 19sanctuary
Jim Davis/Globe staff/file 2016
Cambridge Mayor E. Denise Simmons says she may attend Friday’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

It might not be what you’d expect from the leader of one of the most liberal cities in the nation, but the mayor of Cambridge says she may attend Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday.

E. Denise Simmons, who was the country’s first black, openly lesbian mayor when she was first elected in 2008, defended the idea in a statement Tuesday, saying she is the furthest thing from a Trump supporter.

“That said, there are legitimate reasons why I have contemplated attending this week’s inaugural: to protest, to bear witness to history, and simply to stand tall and be a visible reminder to Mr. Trump and his supporters that people like me — and the people I represent — aren’t going into hiding for the next four years,” Simmons said “We will not be cowed into submission, we will not be silent, and we will not be invisible.”


Simmons’s declaration comes as an increasing number of Democrats, including Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, have opted to boycott Trump’s inauguration.

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The boycott has gained momentum in recent days, as Trump has criticized Representative John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and leader of the civil rights movement, who said he does not consider Trump a “legitimate president.”

Simmons said she respects the boycott, but sees attending the ceremony as a valid option, as well. Simmons, who will be in Washington attending the US Conference of Mayors, said she was invited to the ceremony by the inaugural committee and she has not made a final decision.

If she does attend, she said, “We will be right there, proudly and vociferously standing up to any attempts to tear down so much of what makes this country great.”

Michael Levenson can be reached at michael.levenson