Kennedy makes stops in Pittsfield, Great Barrington, Westfield, Northampton, Holyoke, Chicopee, and Springfield
Watertown, MA –– On Monday, Congressman Joe Kennedy III spent the day visiting with small business owners and frontline workers in Western Massachusetts. He was joined by a series of local leaders and supporters.
Kennedy first joined Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington, Pittsfield City Councilors Peter Marchetti, Peter White, Earl Persip, Yuki Cohen, and Dina Lampiasi, and North Adams City Councilor Marie Harpin to talk with individuals at the encampment in Springside Park in Pittsfield. The group discussed addiction, homelessness, and recovery with individuals living in the park and woods there.
“The conversations we’re having today aren’t pretty or easy, but they’re important. People experiencing homlessness and/or addiction know what they need best, but their voices are often ignored. This economic downturn has propelled so many people into homelessness,” said Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington. “We need new leadership in Washington because this encampment shouldn’t exist ever, nevermind in the middle of a highly contagious pandemic. Because addiction and homelessness shouldn’t be treated as crimes. I’m proud to stand beside Joe Kennedy because the fact that he’s here right now says everything. He treats every person he meets like both a friend and a teacher. He shows up because he loves what he does. That’s the leadership we need in the U.S. Senate.”
Kennedy then headed to Great Barrington Community Health Center, where he discussed access to health care and the needs of community health centers with frontline workers. From there, he visited Kosinski Family Farm in Westfield to talk about the impact COVID-19 has had on agriculture in Western Massachusetts.
In the afternoon, Kennedy met with Hampshire County Register of Deeds Mary Olberding for a tour of small businesses in Northampton. From there, he headed to Holyoke to discuss Medicare for All and health care access with frontline workers and the CEO of Holyoke Community Health Center. Kennedy then visited Interstate Towing and Rumbleseat Bar and Grille in Chicopee.
Kennedy wrapped up his day in Springfield, where he greeted volunteers before sitting down with Latinx business owners.
As part of the Jobs and Justice Tour, Kennedy will be meeting with working families, business owners, Black and Brown communities, organized labor, essential workers, and other community leaders across the state to inform the Jobs and Justice Initiative and receive feedback from local stakeholders.
The Kennedy Jobs and Justice Initiative (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.
Kennedy’s visit is part of a statewide tour to promote his Kennedy Jobs and Justice Initiative (JJI), a working legislative proposal to guide our country’s economic recovery efforts in building a better, stronger, more resilient post-COVID America.
For more photos from the event, please contact [email protected].