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2 writers tell why they back Kennedy

 Chris DiMeo of Park Avenue submitted this letter.


Throughout the Democratic Senate primary campaign between Ed Markey and Joe Kennedy, I have thought about the many roles of a U.S. senator -- at home, across the country and for the Democratic Party. It’s clear that for several years, Kennedy has already been doing the job of a senator.

Joe works tirelessly at the national level for our progressive agenda, including racial, climate and economic justice, as well as health care and mental health care for all, among others. In addition, he is a progressive champion in our state, diving into Massachusetts ballot question 3 to protect the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination, championing voting rights and fighting construction of the Weymouth compressor station. He is raising his young family in Massachusetts, and he spends 70 percent of his time here (more than almost any other member of the Massachusetts delegation).

At the same time, Kennedy has been one of the most powerful voices against the Trump administration and one of the strongest forces building the Democratic Party. I have seen Kennedy fight to defend Obamacare, go to the U.S./Mexico border to stand with immigrants and against caging children, march for Black Lives, champion Covid-19 relief and so much more. Kennedy has also traveled the country to build the party and helped power the midterm 2018 Blue Wave that flipped the House -- work that is essential to actually implement progressive ideals, as noted in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s endorsement of Kennedy.

While there’s very little daylight between Kennedy and Markey on progressive issues, the difference between the two can be easily seen by their visits to Arlington during the last six months of this campaign. Markey held an event on a hilltop at Robbins Farm with elected officials, members of the Democratic Town Committee and activists. Kennedy visited the homeless camp in the Mugar woods and attended the AHS Black Student Union/Black Alum peaceful protest on June 20.

Unfortunately, Sen. Markey hasn’t been doing the full job of a Senator. Though he usually casts the right votes, he isn’t here. In fact, he spends only 30 percent of his time in our state (less than Sen. Elizabeth Warren, when she ran for president). He also didn’t support the 2018 midterm elections (he traveled to no states to stump for Democrats), and missed 50 percent of Senate votes during Covid-19. He has only recently begun listening to the most marginalized communities –- front-line workers, BIPOCs and the immigrant and refugee community. Joe has made those hardest hit by this pandemic the centerpiece of his campaign as shown by the overwhelming support from these communities including the endorsement of Rep. John Lewis before his death.

That’s it. That’s the job of a senator -- listening to the people you serve, national leadership, diligent work in D.C. and party building. Joe Kennedy has been serving as a great senator from Massachusetts for several years now. We should make it official and give him the title in this election.

This letter was published Monday, Aug. 24, 2020.

Lauren Boyle of Hillside Avenue submitted this letter.

Watching the June 8th Democratic Primary Senate debate confirmed my belief that Congressman Joe Kennedy is a progressive champion for the families of Massachusetts.  Looking at each phase of family life, Kennedy is advocating for what we need.

He has a 100-percent lifetime rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood, protecting women’s bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom to determine when they start a family.

Kennedy is an advocate for universal early education, fighting for working families that cannot function without confidence about the well-being of their children. He is a fierce advocate for the physical and mental health-care families need throughout their lives, fiercely defending the Affordable Care Act in his “act of malice” comments when Republicans repeatedly tried to repeal it, enthusiastically supporting Medicare For All, and fighting for mental-health parity and access.

Kennedy is fighting for student debt forgiveness so that young adults can pursue their goals without a lifetime burden of debt. He is an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, working to protect the environment for families today and generations moving forward.

I’m grateful to Congressman Kennedy for fighting for Massachusetts families, and will be voting for him in the fall. 

This letter was published Friday, June 12, 2020.

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