Watertown, MA — U.S. Rep Joe Kennedy III hosted the first two Spanish-language town halls in Massachusetts Senate history this past weekend, continuing his impressive attention to Latinx voters across the Commonwealth.
Kennedy, who is challenging Senator Ed Markey in a primary race for U.S. Senate, speaks fluent Spanish and took questions from a crowd of nearly 100 Spanish speakers in Lawrence and close to 50 in East Boston.
The Lawrence Town Hall was held at Relief’s In, where Kennedy was introduced by local resident Aldonsa Pereyra.
The East Boston Town Hall was held at the Veronica Robles Cultural Center. Chelsea City Councilor Judith Garcia, who has endorsed Kennedy, introduced the Congressman to a room full of Spanish-speaking residents from East Boston, Chelsea, and other towns and cities in the area. Also in attendance were Chelsea City Council President Roy Avellaneda, who has endorsed Kennedy, Chelsea City Councilors Naomi Zabot and Enio Lopez, as well as State Representative Jon Santiago, who endorsed Kennedy at the start of his campaign.
At both events, voters had the opportunity to ask the Congressman questions regarding his candidacy, positions and priorities for over an hour, without the filter of a translator.
Kennedy said these town halls were a critical part of his campaign’s central promise to be accessible to every community in Massachusetts and bring in voters too often left out of the political process.
“Since day one of this campaign we have been committed to showing up for every voter of Massachusetts and meeting people where they are,” Kennedy said. “At a time when too many people feel ignored and cut out of our political process, we are building as inclusive, transparent and accessible of a grassroots operation as we can. With the growing base of Latinx voters across our commonwealth and country — and their immense contributions to every corner of American life — these town halls are an essential early part of our campaign, to directly hear the concerns, challenges, hopes and lived experience of every resident.”
Kennedy spent two years in the Dominican Republic as a Peace Corps volunteer, prompting a voter in Lawrence to ask him one of the most hard-hitting questions of the day: “Did you have a Dominican girlfriend?” The room burst into laughter as Kennedy turned bright red…and declined to comment.
The two Spanish-language town halls are the first of their kind in the history of Massachusetts Senate races, and they conclude the first stage of Kennedy’s 2020 community town hall tour. In total Kennedy completed 13 town halls over the last month, including: Worcester, Malden, Lowell, Barnstable, Salem, Dedham, Amherst, Springfield, Framingham, Leominster, Randolph, Lawrence and East Boston.
Source: Kennedy for Senate campaign