WASHINGTON, D.C., May 9, 2017—Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Massachusetts) addressed the Young Agents & InsurPac State Chairpersons Legislative Luncheon during the annual Big “I” Legislative Conference.
During his remarks, Rep. Kennedy discussed the importance of efforts such as the association’s annual fly-in and political involvement. When making policy decisions about complex topics like health care and tax reform, Rep. Kennedy said independent agents help “make it real” for legislators on Capitol Hill.
“For all of you who made the trip for these couple of days, I can’t tell you how important that is,” Rep. Kennedy said. “It’s more than just a two-minute conversation about a bill or regulation that needs to be adjusted. The stories you tell matter, because that’s actually why most of us ran for this job in the first place—to try to address those problems.”
Rep. Kennedy pointed out that independent agents are a crucial voice in Washington, D.C., because of the “cross sections of the communities you represent and how economics go through those communities—what businesses are succeeding, which ones are struggling, and how the federal government can do a better job making sure we all have access to the type of success we all want to have.”
When constituents who have specialized expertise make the effort to make their representatives more informed, “it’s not about whether it’s a Democrat issue or Republican issue. It’s about ‘Look, this is a problem we’re seeing in our community, and we have to solve it,’” Rep. Kennedy said. “When you come by and talk to us, what drives that conversation is learning how some of these big issues that get polarized actually manifest for a family that’s trying to make ends meet, for a business that’s kind of struggling, for a company that’s trying to start up.”
“I urge you to take that knowledge of how the big stuff influences the day-to-day and the personal stuff, which is at its heart what matters,” Rep. Kennedy added. “The way we get to ‘Yes’ is you raise your voices. You make sure that your representatives understand the consequences of action and inaction, because both of them are a choice you make. Help us understand that as we get pulled around and sucked into a polarizing vortex. You can help translate that for us.”
Rep. Joseph “Joe” Kennedy, III, represents Massachusetts’s 4th Congressional District which spans from the Boston suburbs to the industrial cities of Massachusetts’ South Coast. He is currently serving his third term in Congress. Rep. Kennedy serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and is particularly active on health care issues. Prior to being elected to Congress, he served as Massachusetts Assistant District Attorney in both the Middlesex County and Cape and Island’s District Attorneys’ Offices. He also served in the Peace Corps. Rep. Kennedy earned a bachelor’s degree in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
The event also featured the presentation of the annual InsurPac National Championship awards, Young Agent of the Year, Catalyst and Eagle awards.
Founded in 1896, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.