Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In Memoriam

Senator Edward Kennedy, an unrelenting progressive presence on the senate floor, passed away Tuesday night. We honor the 77 year old senator's longstanding struggle for civil rights, a half century's fight for Americans in need. Among Kennedy's achievements; the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which fundamentally altered the demographic composition of the nation, countless voting rights bills including that which gave 18 year olds the right to vote, post-Watergate campaign finance reform, the Civil Rights act of 1991, and the increase of minimum wages.

Kennedy was a liberal anchor during the conservative presidency of Reagan, during which he doggedly fought to preserve and improve the Voting Rights act. The senator's ongoing work to provide affordable healthcare for all Americans is still reverberating as reform agenda moves through Washington this summer. Even for his political opponents, senator "Ted" Kennedy was a compassionate and appreciated presence on the senate floor. As longtime friend and coworker Joe Biden said this morning, Kennedy spent his life "working for a fair and more just America."