Guest Op-Ed: Why I’m Supporting Joe Kennedy for U.S. Senate

By Patrick Keefe, City Council President

If you know me, you know work ethic and engaged leadership is a trait that I value very highly. It’s pretty much the exact reason I ran for local politics. I felt those representing me didn’t have the drive, the hustle, the need to constantly get things done and help people as I did. 

In the short period of time I have been involved in politics, I feel more led by newcomer Joe Kennedy–who doesn’t even represent our district–over a Senator who supposedly lives one town over. I met Senator Markey at the recent Revere inauguration, and I couldn’t help but feel that he was there because he was having to campaign for his next election. The whole interaction felt disingenuous and that Revere was just another stop on the campaign trail.

Then I did some homework. For most of his time in office, Markey had been absent in Revere.

Prior to this election, Markey was typically out of sight and out of mind, at least here. But then I read that it wasn’t just Revere, and it wasn’t just anecdotal. He was in Washington spending the least amount of time in Massachusetts out of all the members of our congressional delegation. He spends so little time in Massachusetts that, in 2019, he spent even less time in the Commonwealth than Elizabeth Warren—and she was traveling around the country running for president. In 2017, he spent the equivalent of two months in Massachusetts, 2 months in a state you claim to represent.

Some are okay with a Senator who, although isn’t always present in the ground in our communities, is voting for their interests in Washington. But Ed Markey hasn’t been doing that either. In May and June of this year, Markey missed 80% of the votes taken in the Senate (he missed 34 out of 42 votes), including a vote for $3 billion on conservation projects, outdoor recreation and maintenance of national parks. $3 billion. How was he not there for that vote? On something that many consider “his issue”?

Senator Markey has served Massachusetts for many years and I’m sure he’s a nice guy that has good intentions. But “intentions,” even good ones, are not good enough. I want to work with the person willing to work as hard as I am. I want a senator that is entrenched in my community. I want a senator that celebrates the best of Revere, but understands our struggles. I want the person who will fight every day and show up, stand up and get things done. Senator Markey can’t skip votes, live out of state, not show up for my Revere, and then expect to garner my support. Senator Markey might not get that, but Joe Kennedy does.

Joe Kennedy has that last name, but don’t think for a second he’s not working hard to earn your trust. He’s putting in the work. He’s putting in the time. He’s having the tough conversations. I have never felt so strongly about a candidate as I do this one.  Joe carries our values, strives to lift up our voices, and will take what he learns from us here in Revere and bring it down to Washington. 

Joe Kennedy has shown up for Revere time and time again. He’s hosted meet and greets so that members of our community can get to know him. He and his wife delivered Mother’s Day baskets to mothers in Revere sick with COVID-19. He’s distributed masks and meals to those that need them most. He talked to our young students about the government and answered their questions. He’s been to our bakeries, our diners, and our parks. Joe has gone above and beyond to get to know the heart of the community he hopes to represent. The community I love–the community we love. 

And that matters. That’s the difference between him and Senator Markey. The hardworking families of Revere know it matters. They want a senator that will show up, listen, lead and fight for them here in the Commonwealth and in Washington. Because that’s the job of a senator. And I’m telling all of you right now: Revere deserves nothing less.

Please join me in voting for Joe Kennedy for U.S. Senate on September 1st.

Patrick M Keefe Jr. is the Revere Council President.

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