26, DATING, EAST SOMERVILLE
LEGISLATIVE AIDE TO REPRESENTATIVE DENISE PROVOST
Referring to Kennedy's night job as a language teacher at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, one panelist asks, "Is he a Catalan teacher, or a catalog model?"
"Hearthrob of the House, with beautiful eyes and perfect jaw line," says another.
Kennedy is also Provost's only full-time staffer, so he's got his hands full drafting bills, managing constituent services, researching policy, and running the office. That's a long way from where he started — giving tours of the Capitol Building as an intern to Senator John Kerry.
Job title: Legislative aide to Representative Denise Provost
Held since: December, 2008
Marital/relationship status; children; pets: Dating a super awesome person
Home: East Somerville
Originally from: Millis
What you do: As the only full-time staffer in our office, my responsibilities are vast, including drafting legislation, managing constituent services, supervising interns, and general office management.
I also conduct policy research in areas such as transportation and infrastructure, health care, and community and economic development. I'm also responsible for watering the plants from time to time, of which we have several.
Representative Provost is one of the smartest, hardest working, and principled individuals I've ever met — ever — and I'm really proud of the work that our office does.
One experience that made you glad to do this work: The first time I received a thank-you note in the mail from a constituent for connecting them to MassHealth.
Working in the state legislature that pioneered universal health care, I get to see where the rubber meets the road (or in some cases, doesn't meet the road) in terms of the public's access to this relatively new system. In the note I received, Rep. Provost's constituent wrote that they "would have given up" if it hadn't been for me, and "could not express [their] gratitude in words." While I couldn't take all of the credit by any means, having a part in giving such tremendous relief to that person made me so happy to do what I do.
Other jobs: I teach both Spanish and Catalan at night at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. On my way to class after a long day, I sometimes wonder why I thought taking a second job was a good idea, but I always leave class with a smile on my face — teaching is super fun!
Other activities: I'm on the board of directors for East Somerville Main Streets, a community development non-profit dedicated to revitalizing the East Broadway business district, in my neighborhood of East Somerville. We just hosted our second annual "Foodie Crawl," which showcased our local restaurants, many of them immigrant-owned and operated — I encourage Phoenix readers to attend next year! East Somerville is the wave of the not-so-distant-future — you heard it here first, folks.
Path to Beacon Hill: I did my undergrad at George Washington University in D.C. — considering a career in politics probably runs through every GW student's head at some point.
While in D.C., I interned in Senator John Kerry's office. One of my responsibilities was giving tours of the Capitol Building to the senator's constituents (excellent tours I might add, full of super fun facts and Oscar-worthy reenactments). The idea of being part of history was always fun and exciting to me.
After graduating, I moved back to Boston and worked on a state representative campaign in Wellesley, which eventually led me to Rep. Provost's office in Beacon Hill.
Personal style: To be honest, I don't give my outfits much thought — I keep it simple. The most important aspect of any outfit is always how you wear it (and a stylish tie goes a long way).
Aside from my clothes, my mom always says you're never fully dressed without a smile — she likes to quote musicals and/or TheWizard of Oz when giving advice to her children.
Favorite thing about working in the State House? I definitely think "plays well with others" could go on my State House report card. It's something I'm good at not necessarily because it's a skill I fine-tuned, but rather, it's something I really enjoy doing.
Despite some of the heat that public servants get in the press and elsewhere, my friends and colleagues on Beacon Hill are brilliant, conscientious, and dedicated people with whom I love to work. Being surrounded by great people, in all ambits of life, makes you better at whatever you're doing, and makes the journey along the way bearable, or, dare I say, fun.
One thing you would change to make State House work more "beautiful": Accent walls.