Many of us first heard about the Congressman before he was a congressman. A few of us had the opportunity to serve with him in the Dominican Republic 2004-2006. The rest of us met him when he spoke eloquently at RPCV/W‘s Commemoration of 50 years of the Peace Corps on September 25, 2011 at Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Amphitheater.
Those of us who served with him or were able to meet him, know that he is very genuine and down to earth. He exemplifies the ideals of a Peace Corps volunteer.
Soon after his speech in 2011, he announced his candidacy for Congress in the 4th congressional District of Massachusetts in January 2012. He ran his campaign like PCV getting to know his community. He listened to the constituents by door knocking, early morning T-stop conversations and touring businesses of the district. Even when it was apparent that he would win his race he would not stop reaching out. He was very gracious to his opponent no matter how disrespectful his opponent was to him.
As a Congressman, he continued to make sure his constituents knew he was there for them, having frequent open houses throughout the district and making sure he was in his district as often as possible.
He also continued supporting the Peace Corps Community. He attended RPCV/W’s Holiday Party in 2012, he spoke both in 2013 and 2014 to the RPCV Advocates on NPCA’s National Day of Action during Peace Corps week. He also re-introduced the Peace Corps Commemorative act. It was first bill he introduced and passed.
Recently, he responded to our request to provide a quote on how Peace Corps has impacted his political career for the Politics and the Peace Corps session at NPCA’s Peace Corps Connect Nashville:
“From the day I returned from the Dominican Republic, my life and career has been shaped by my time as a Peace Corps volunteer. In the most challenging circumstances, I think back to my time in the Dominican Republic for guidance, insight and understanding. But more than anything, my experience in the Peace Corps taught me that change begins in the community and growth cannot be accomplished alone.” ~Congressman Joe P. Kennedy III June 2014
We would like to Thank the Congressman and his really amazing staff for always being supportive of the Peace Corps Community.