Joe Kennedy III

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Joe Kennedy III

Template:TOCnestleft Joe Kennedy III is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 4th district of Massachusetts. He was first elected in November 2012, replacing Barney Frank who did not seek re-election.[1]

He is the son of former Congressman Joseph Kennedy.


Prior to seeking office, Joe served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an Assistant District Attorney in both the Middlesex County and Cape and Island’s District Attorneys’ Offices. A graduate of Harvard Law, he was an active member of the school’s Legal Aid Bureau – a pro-bono law firm that provided legal services to low-income families around Boston. During that time he also co-founded an afterschool program for at-risk youth in the Boston area with his wife, Lauren.

Earlier in his career Joe served as a member of the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic where he designed and implemented an economic development project that helped create jobs and increase the standard of living in an isolated community near Puerto Plata. Joe has also worked as an international development analyst for the United Nations’ Millennium Project and as an anti-poverty consultant abroad. He is fluent in Spanish and currently sits on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, as well as the House Committee on Science and Technology.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Joe holds a bachelors degree in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University.[2]


Joe Kennedy III was born October 4, 1980, to businessman/politician Joe Kennedy and Sheila Brewster Rauch. He was born eight minutes after his fraternal twin brother Matt Kennedy. He and Matt are the eldest grandsons of Senator Bobby Kennedy and socialite Ethel Skakel.

Defense spending cuts letter

May 19, 2020.

Dear Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Thornberry:

We write to request a reduction in defense spending during the coronavirus pandemic. As you draft this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), we encourage you to authorize a level of spending below last year’s authorized level. Congress must remain focused on responding to the coronavirus pandemic and distributing needed aid domestically. In order to do so, appropriators must have access to increased levels of non-defense spending which could be constrained by any increase to defense spending.

Initiated by Mark Pocan and Barbara Lee.[3]

Co-signatories included Joe Kennedy III .

Warren connection

In 2006 Joe Kennedy III sat in Elizabeth Warren's freshman contract law class at Harvard. Later he studied in Warren's bankruptcy class. He often called in to her office to "learn more about the economic pressures on American families. At the time he was working as an unpaid intern for Representative Bill Delahunt.[4]

ARA endorsement

Alliance for Retired Americans endorsed Joe Kennedy III in 2012.[5]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

In January 2013, Joe Kennedy III was listed as a new member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[6]

PDA contact

In 2013 Progressive Democrats of America assigned activists to deliver their material to almost every US Congressman and several Senators. Lisa Doherty, was assigned as contact for Rep. Kennedy.[7]

On Hugo Chavez

In March, 2013, Former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II offered his prayers to the family of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, saying he cared deeply about the poor and helped nearly two million Americans through the former lawmaker's heating assistance charity.

Kennedy, who heads Citizens Energy, said Chavez cared about the poor at a time when "some of the wealthiest people on our planet have more money than they can ever reasonably expect to spend."

Kennedy, a son of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy, founded Citizens Energy in 1979 with the goal of reducing home heating oil costs for the poor and elderly after the energy crisis of the 1970s.

Kennedy's son, newly elected U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, D-Mass., also released a statement saying: "My thoughts and prayers are with President Chavez's family," the younger Kennedy said in a statement. "In this time of transition, it is my hope that the United States and Venezuela can build a productive relationship for the future."[8]

Immigration rally

Some 800 immigrants and their supporters rallied at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall on April 6 2013, to demand comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship.

The lively and boisterous rally was organized primarily by SEIU and allied community organizations including Jobs with Justice , MassUniting and MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition).

SEIU Local 615 President Rocio Saenz, herself an immigrant from Mexico and a veteran of SEIU’s Justice for Janitors campaigns, led the rally. She spoke eloquently of the integral connection of immigrant rights with union rights and human rights. She also introduced supportive speakers Sen. Elizabeth Warren and new Mass. Congressman Joseph Kennedy III.[9]

The Faneuil Hall rally and march aimed to pressure Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million foreign-born immigrants living in the country illegally.

Both Democrats called for the passage of immigration reform once Congress resumes session following its Easter break.

“My Spanish may not be great but it’s coming from the heart,” Warren said with a chuckle that was met with laughs and cheers from the crowds, armed with flags and signs, who packed Faneuil Hall.

“It’s far past time . . . to have common sense, comprehensive immigration reform,” Warren said. “We need a path to citizenship, we need to support our dreamers, we need to fix the visa system and, most of all, we need to help families to stay together.”

Moments later, Kennedy led the crowd in chants of “Si se puede” — Cesar Chavez’s motto adopted as a rallying cry by the immigration movement — before launching into a speech, in which he also jumped between English and Spanish, about the country’s need to address its broken immigration system.

Right now we have the moment, we have the opportunity to change it,” he said. “We cannot let up for a minute.” [10]

Hunger strike

Cristian Avila, Dae Joong Yoon, Eliseo Medina
Jim Wallis, Joe Kennedy III

December 4, 2013, saying their 22-day "fast for families" to demand Congress approve comprehensive immigration reform had gotten worldwide attention, former Service Employees Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina and his fasting colleagues ended their D.C. vigil by handing off the fast to a group of successors.

The fast drew continued attention to the issue, and support from Democrats all the way up to President Obama, who visited the fasters in their tent at the foot of Capitol Hill on Dec. 1. But it did not budge the decision-makers it targeted: the anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic GOP majority in the U.S. House.

Medina "handed over" his fast to Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., and the Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners. In a joint statement, Medina and his fellow fasters said "we fasted in the shadow of the Capitol to call attention to the human suffering caused by our broken immigration system. We believe we have raised awareness about families being ripped apart by deportations, immigrants dying in the desert and millions of people living in fear every day.

Medina and the other fasters, supported and escorted by their friends and colleagues - including SEIU President Mary Kay Henry - weakly walked to the center carpet behind the mike and sat patiently waiting for the symbolic end of their fast: Bread and liquids offered by two Catholic prelates, including Cardinal Emeritus Theodore McCarrick of D.C. They then left, with their escorts, for a medical checkup.

Cristian Avila of Mi Familia Vota, and Dae Joong Yoon, with the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium also struck.[11]

Kennedy ceremoniously began his fast by accepting a small cross from Eliseo Medina, a longtime immigration rights activist and labor leader who was concluding a 22-day fast Tuesday.

"Immigration reform is something that’s been important to my family. My uncle was a champion of it when he was in the Senate," Kennedy said in reference to his great uncle, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.). "At this point, we need to get some movement on this bill and whatever we can do to try to break the logjam is important, so I wanted to be a part of it."[12]

Meeting Gerry Adams, March 2014

Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein Vice-President Mary Lou McDonald, and Sinn Fein lobbyist Rita O'Hare met Reps. Richard Neal, Joseph Crowley, Joseph Kennedy III, Eliot Engel, and Frank Pallone, in Washington DC, March 13, 2014.[13]

Condemning Criticism of Islam legislation

On December 17, 2015, Rep. Don Beyer, Jr. introduced legislation condemning "violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States." The legislation is based on unsourced claims that there is a "rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance," and a "disproportionate targeting" of "Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing...because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances." The resolution, H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States [14]

The legislation was cosponsored by Rep. Michael Honda, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Joseph Crowley, Rep. Andre Carson, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Dan Kildee, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Scott Peters, Rep. Brad Ashford, Rep. Alan Grayson, Rep. Mark Takai, Rep. Brian Higgins, Rep. William Keating, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Rep. Gerry Connolly, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Cheri Bustos, Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Kathy Castor, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Michael Quigley, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, Rep. Robin Kelly, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Alcee Hastings, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Frank Pallone, Rep. Jim McDermott, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Robert Brady, Rep. Frederica Wilson, Rep. Michael Doyle, Rep. Albio Sires, Rep. Suzan DelBene, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. David Loebsack, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. Debbie Dingell, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, Rep. John Yarmuth, Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. Jim Langevin, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. Jose Serrano, Rep. Hank Johnson, Rep. Paul Tonko, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Lois Capps, Rep. David Price, Rep. Doris Matsui, Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. Denny Heck, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. John Carney, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. John B. Larson, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Peter Welch, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Jim Himes, Rep. Matt Cartwright.

Praising CAIR

“As our country faces new threats to civil rights, it is crucial that active participation in our democracy be protected and allowed to prosper. [. . .] thanks for all you do.”

Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) (October 2017)

March for Our Lives


Joe Kennedy III at March for Our Lives with Jessica Tang, March 25 2018.

"Anti-trans violence resolution"

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), introduced a resolution in September 2017 against anti-trans violence, specifically noting violence against transgender women of color.

Ellison said in a statement Monday the Transgender Day of Remembrance “takes on even more significance” in 2017 as a result of the significant rate of violence against transgender people.

“We also recognize that the victims of this violence are almost all transgender women and transgender women of color,” Ellison said. “This is an important day, but we should not consider our jobs done because we’ve observed this one day. Instead, we must commit ourselves to the principle of liberty and justice for all and ensure everyone is safe to live and thrive in their community.”

Ellison’s resolution observes transgender women of color are more likely than white transgender women to face mistreatment by police, an assumption they’re sex workers and incarceration in prison.

Among other things, the resolution calls for ending racial profiling in law enforcement practices; ending the practice of placing transgender people in solitary confinement; and ending the practice of immigration detention for vulnerable populations, including transgender people.

Co-sponsors of that resolution are Raul Grijalva, Joe Kennedy III as well as Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.).[15]

Transgender resolution


Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), chair of the Congressional Transgender Task Force, introduced a resolution in the U.S. House on Monday to recognize violence against transgender people.

“Our nation has lost too many transgender Americans to targeted, bigoted violence in our communities,” Kennedy said. “With this resolution recognizing Transgender Day of Remembrance, Congress can commit to confronting these tragedies and protecting all of our citizens.”

In addition to recognizing the Transgender Day of Remembrance, the resolution calls for enhanced federal data collection of anti-trans violence and encourages federal and state governments “to study, respond to, and prevent violence against transgender people.”

The original co-sponsors of the resolution are Reps. Michael Quigley (D-Ill.), Donald McEachin (D-Va.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) as well as Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).[16]

"Green New Deal"

From the Sunrise Movement:[17]

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has released a proposal for a Select Committee on a Green New Deal, a plan that would transform our economy and society at the scale needed to stop the climate crisis.

We have the momentum to make a Green New Deal real, but we need a critical mass of Congresspeople to support the proposal.

Take action on Dec. 10 to show Congress the Green New Deal is a top priority.

Congressional supporters by December 20 2018 included Joe Kennedy III.

"Fight the root cause: economic insecurity"

YDSA of Boston College September 5, 2017 ·


"Trump is the symptom. Fight the root cause: economic insecurity." Congressman Joe Kennedy III at Boston College Graduate Employees Union - UAW's Graduate Student Forum.

HR 109 endorser

By February 20 2019 endorsers of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's HR 109 (Green New Deal) included Joe Kennedy III.

Medicare for All Act

In February 2019 Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduced H.R.1384 - Medicare for All Act of 2019. By May 29 she had 110 co-sponsors including Rep. Joe Kennedy III.

Loehrer connection


Alex Loehrer with Joe Kennedy III, Boston 2014.

NIAC connection

National Iranian American Council January 10 2019:


Thanks to Congressman Kennedy for meeting with our Boston volunteers! Our team joined him to talk about how the travel ban and sanctions have affected them and about their concerns for a war with Iran.

External links



  1. National Journal "The New Faces of the 113th Congress," November 15, 2012
  2. Joe Kennedy III official bio
  3. [1]
  4. [A fighting chance page 138]
  5. ARA endorsements 2012
  6. CPC website, members, accessed Jan. 15, 2013
  7. PDA May 2013 Educate Congress Digest Letter drops (191 in total – 105 in April )
  8. PW, Poor people in the U.S. also benefited from Venezuelan oil, by: Special to, March 11 2013
  9. Talking Union, SEIU Organizes Boston Rally and March for Immigrant Rights, Posted on April 7, 2013 by paulgarver
  10. [, Boston Globe, Hundreds assemble in Boston for immigration reform rally By Wesley Lowery, April 07, 2013]
  11. PW. Medina, other immigration reform fasters, step aside for reinforcements, by: Mark Gruenberg, December 4 2013
  12. WaPo, Rep. Joe Kennedy III joins immigration fast, BY ED O'KEEFE December 3
  13. Gerry Adams tweet Mary Lou MacDonald, Richard Neal, Joe Crowley, Rita OHare, Joe Kennedy, Elliot Engle,Mise agus Frank Pallone
  14. H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States, accessed December 26, 2015
  15. Washington Blade, November 20, 2017 at 11:41 am EDT | by Chris Johnson Transgender Day of Remembrance observed on Capitol Hill
  16. Washington Blade, November 20, 2017 at 11:41 am EDT | by Chris Johnson Transgender Day of Remembrance observed on Capitol Hill
  17. [2]