Charles Yancey

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Charles Yancey
Charles Yancey of Boston USA 10086143926.jpg
Charles Yancey with children at Franklin Park, Boston, 1980s
Former Member of the Boston City Council from District 4
In office
Preceded by District created
Succeeded by Andrea Joy Campbell
Personal details
Born (1948-12-28) December 28, 1948 (age 68)
Nationality American
Alma mater Tufts University
Harvard University

Charles Calvin Yancey (born December 28, 1948, Boston[1]) was a member of the Boston City Council in Boston, Massachusetts. He represented Mattapan and parts of Dorchester. He served as City Council president in 2001. He was also the second African American to hold this position. First elected in 1983, he is currently the longest sitting member of the Boston City Council.[2]

Charles Calvin Yancey, past President of the Boston City Council, completed a record sixteen terms in office in 2016. He was the Dean of the Boston City Council, serving continuously longer than any member of the body in the history of Boston. He was founder and chair of the Post Audit & Oversight Committee. He was also Vice Chairman of the Ingersoll Browne Fund. Charles Yancey, the first member of his family to go to college, received his Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Tufts University and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. He has taught courses in State and Local Politics at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston and he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Mount Ida College. Councillor Yancey served as president of the Boston City Council, president of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, president of the Black Political Task Force, and president of his Jr. Achievement Company, ATCO. As a member of the Boston City Council, Councillor Yancey has challenged every department head to improve his or her performance of insuring that their department’s personnel reflect the gender and racial demographic make-up of the City of Boston at all salary levels. His dedication to achieving equal rights for all people began to emerge in 1966, during his four years at Tufts University, where he co-founded the Afro-American Society, the African American Cultural Center and the Tufts Summer Institute. Councillor Yancey has also challenged the City of Boston to build a new high school in Mattapan and to increase educational resources for enhancing academic growth of all students attending Boston Public Schools. Councillor Yancey successfully initiated the building of the Dorchester/Mattapan Police Station and the Gallivan Community Center in the 1980s. He also successfully introduced a $7 Million loan-order in 1997 to build the Mildred Avenue Community Center in Mattapan. It opened its doors in 2003. In 1997, he successfully introduced a $10 million loan-order to build a library in Mattapan. It was completed in 2009. Councillor Yancey gained national and international attention in 1984 for his involvement in the Free South Africa Movement with his authorship of a stringent "model" divestiture bill that withdrew $12.5 million of Boston's assets from companies doing business in South Africa. As a result of the legislation, which was used throughout the nation as a model for other municipalities to divest, Yancey was invited to address a meeting at the United Nations. He passed the Parental School Leave Ordinance to encourage greater parental involvement in the Boston Public school system. He successful got tobacco control laws on the books, including the prohibition of free cigarette distribution and use of unattended vending machines to sell cigarettes. Councillor Yancey successfully established a sister city relationship between the City of Boston and Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana in 2001. Councillor Yancey and his wife, Marzetta Yancey, founded the Charles C. Yancey Book Fair, in 1987, since which time more than 700,000 books have been distributed to over 30,000 children and families. Councillor Yancey is married to Marzetta Morrissette Yancey and they have raised three sons, Charles, Jr., Derrick, Sharif, and a daughter, Ashley. They have six grandchildren: Noel, David, Derrick Jr., Steven, Hattie and Hieu. A life-long resident of Boston, Massachusetts, Councillor Yancey was born in Boston to Howell Yancey, Sr., and Alice W. Yancey. He grew up in Roxbury along with six brothers and two sisters. He attended the Boston Public School System, before earning his B.A. in Economics from Tufts and his Master’s Degree from Harvard.


  1. ^ "Boston City Council: Charles Yancey" Archived March 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Rosso, Patrick (November 6, 2013). "Charles Yancey reelected to 16th term as District 4 city councilor". Retrieved 1 April 2014. 

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