U.S. Congressman and Massachusetts Senatorial candidate Joseph Kennedy III was back in Eastie Sunday, the place he chose to kick off his senate campaign against incumbent Ed Markey, to meet with businesses owners and residents during a daylong tour. .
Kennedy could be seen walking down Falcon Street Sunday afternoon, stopping to talk to residents sitting out on their stoops and taking pictures with supporters.
The visit to Eastie was part of Kennedy’s Jobs & Justice Tour across Massachusetts to talk about economic recovery and resiliency in the wake of COVID-19. Kennedy was joined by Eastie community leaders Tony Portillo, Marvin Jimenez and Saul Ortez.
Kennedy’s visit came after his announcement of the Kennedy Jobs and Justice Initiative (JJI) last week, a working legislative proposal to guide our country’s economic recovery efforts in building a better, stronger, more resilient post-COVID America.
As part of the ‘Jobs & Justice Tour’, Kennedy met with working families, business owners, Black and Brown communities, organized labor, essential workers, and other community leaders in Eastie to receive feedback from local stakeholders
The visit began with Kennedy and community leader Tony Portillo hosting a roundtable with LatinX business leaders to talk about the impact COVID-19 has had in Eastie.
After the discussion, Kennedy visited Taqueria Jalisco, La Chiva, Tutti Frutti, Cindy’s Nails and Spa, and Rincon Limeño. Kennedy also visited Eastie staple, Santarpio’s Pizza, with his wife Lauren on the way home.
“East Boston has been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and these local businesses and restaurants have felt the very real impact of this crisis firsthand,” said Kennedy. “As we work to rebuild our economy, we must support these small businesses and give them the resources they need to thrive. The stories and feedback I heard throughout the day will help inform the Justice and Jobs Initiative and next steps. I look forward to being here again soon and to working with these great community leaders as we work together to recover in the coming months.”
Kennedy’s JJI proposes a large-scale public works and federal hiring program designed to both address the acute needs of COVID-19 response, and to remedy the profound injustices of our modern economy, which long predated this pandemic. With a focus on equality, intersectionality, and anti-racism, the proposal builds on Kennedy’s earlier “moral capitalism” platform and continues his efforts to reorient federal economic policies to center American workers.
In September Kennedy announced his candidacy for Massachusetts Senate at the East Boston Social Centers. Kennedy’s choice of location was not by accident. The Kennedy family’s start in America is very much the same story as the hundreds of immigrants that call Eastie home.
Patrick Kennedy fled New Ross, Ireland and abject poverty for a better life in the U.S. and married Bridget Murphy at Holy Redeemer Church in the mid 1800s, just a few blocks from the Social Centers. Patrick’s son, P.J. Kennedy went on to become a successful saloon owner, ward boss and politician in Eastie. His son, Joseph P. Kennedy, the father of President John F. Kennedy and Joseph P. Kennedy III’s grandfather, the late Robert Kennedy, started what would become a family dynasty in U.S. Politics that spanned several generations.
“It was so special for many of us that Joe had the initiative to visit our small businesses here in East Boston,” said Portillo.
“We know how important it is to bring change to Washington D.C. and we cannot think of a better leader than someone who is willing to meet with us here for an hour, speak our own language, and look for our input.” “My support for him has nothing to do with his last name. I support him because he understands the challenges we are facing and really shows he cares for the Latino community… As a business owner I am willing to do anything to help him win.”