Congressman Joe Kennedy Pays A Visit To FHS

Grace Griffin, Writer

On Friday, October 21st, Massachusetts congressman Joe Kennedy III spoke to FHS students primarily from the AP Government and Politics classes.

Kennedy has served as a Massachusetts congressman in the House of Representatives for two terms, and is seeking reelection on November 8th. Opposing Kennedy are four republicans (including Dave Rosa) and one independent.

When Kennedy arrived, he immediately greeted the crowd of students and asked what was important to them. Students shouted out answers ranging from LGBT+ rights to trade relations and tax policy.

Kennedy appeared to be impressed that the students were well aware of the political climate and in touch with the issues surrounding the current election.

Some seniors such as David Goodfellow and Katherine Wapples asked Kennedy questions about his job and what one should expect when entering politics, to which Kennedy answered that politics is truly about the people above all else.

Delving into the issues, senior Brad Jarosz interrogated Kennedy on his stance of pay equity for women, alluding that women were already technically equal. Kennedy replied by bring attention to some male dominated careers, such as those in the STEM fields, and the overwhelming corporate positions held by men over women.

FHS senior and member of the SAFE Coalition, Julia Hogan, asked Kennedy about the growing opiate epidemic in Massachusetts.

Kennedy stressed the importance of prevention, especially limiting prescriptions of opiates from doctors. He also touched on a need for justice reform; instead of just jailing people for drug crimes, he hopes to help rehabilitate them to solve the root of the problem.

“The opiate crisis is a huge issue in Massachusetts and throughout the country. More needs to be done in Washington to help solve this problem. I was impressed with what Joe had to say, he is really knowledgeable about the issue. This is definitely a good thing as we need more experts about this issue in D.C.” said Julia.

Finally, senior Kenny Khuc asked Kennedy about bipartisanship and what he has to compromise on to move forward with this republican co-workers. Kennedy stressed the importance of compromise and finding something that everyone can agree on to satisfy the people they represent.

“His welcoming presence and articulation of his beliefs allowed the students to connect with him and engage with him on a personal level, rather than a one-sided conversation” said senior Maddie Dieterle, summing up the entire experience.

The popularity of this event showcased the political interest and awareness prevalent at Franklin High.

Congressman Kennedy ended on an inspiring rhetoric: no matter what happens on November 8th, it is not the end, what comes in the following days, weeks, and months is more important and will shape the nation more greatly.