Rep. Joe Kennedy III may have put a pause on his Senate campaign’s political activities in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, but that doesn’t mean he has stopped fundraising.
The Massachusetts congressman is using his formidable email list to raise money for relief organizations “doing the hard work of protecting the most vulnerable in the face of this crisis.” In an email Monday night, his campaign directed supporters to send money to several local nonprofits through the political fundraising platform ActBlue.
“It doesn’t have to be a lot – just a few dollars can make all the difference to the groups trying to ensure that no one goes hungry, without a roof over their head, or without access to basic health care during this global epidemic,” Kennedy wrote.
The email included donation links for Project Bread, Pine Street Inn, and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts; the Massachusetts chapters of the United Way; and Meal on Wheels and Feeding America.
“I am working to do everything I can on Capitol Hill to provide support during this crisis,” Kennedy wrote. “But organizations like the ones above are on the front lines, delivering immediate assistance where it is most needed.”
It’s not the first time that Kennedy has used his platform to fundraise for nonprofit groups. In response to increased family separations at the southern border under President Donald Trump’s administration, the Newton Democrat launched a similar effort to raise money for immigrant advocacy and human rights organizations (the separation policy has since been ramped down). According to Kennedy’s campaign, the effort — which consisted of many emails over the course of nearly a year — raised more than $250,000.
During the 2018 midterm campaigns, Kennedy also helped raise close to $4.9 million for fellow Democratic candidates across the country, according to The Boston Globe.
Last week, Kennedy announced he was temporarily suspending his primary campaign against Sen. Ed Markey until at least this Friday to focus on the coronavirus response.
In an interview Tuesday morning on WBUR, he called for aggressive government action to provide economic relief for those affected by pandemic, including expanded paid leave and unemployment insurance, loans for small businesses, and direct cash payments to individuals.