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Capuano, Kennedy Honored By BC’s College Democrats

Heights Staff

Published: Thursday, April 12, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

This past Wednesday the College Democrats of Boston College honored Congressman Michael Capuano (MA-8) with the Fr. Robert F. Drinan Award and Joseph Kennedy III with the Democratic Rising Star Award. Both honorees spoke at the ceremony, which took place in the faculty dining room between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m.

The Drinan Award is given to a prominent Democrat who exemplifies Drinan’s commitment to public service and social justice. Drinan, a former dean of BC Law School, served as a member of Congress from 1971 until 1980. He was forced to resign when Pope John Paul II mandated that priests withdraw from electoral politics.

Capuano, who graduated  from BC Law School in 1977,  is a strong supporter of wildlife and environmental conservation and the Funding to Combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis bill. He has also been among the loudest voices in Congress calling for an end to genocide and slavery in Sudan.

“Catholicism is one of the things that led me to become a progressive,” he said.

He went on to discuss how his faith was in large part the basis for his support for universal health care.

“Being raised as a Catholic was being raised unequivocally to care about people in need, to care about your fellow man,” he said. “[That] is the Jesuit tradition.”

Kennedy, who is currently a candidate for Congress in Massachusetts’ 4th district, spoke second. He received the Democratic Rising Star Award, which is presented to a Massachusetts Democrat who demonstrates the ideals of the Democratic Party and who has the potential to accomplish even greater things in his or her career.

While at Harvard Law School Kennedy served as a member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, a pro-bono group that specialized in mortgage and forclosure  mitigation for low-income clients that were forced out of their rooms after their landlords were forclosed upon. Later, he served in the Dominican Republic for the Peace Corps for two and a half years and said that the experience has been an influence on his current Congressional campaign.  

He emphasized progressive ideals as being the center of his campaign, saying that all concerns over taxation and entitlement reform “boil down to a central worry that every person deserves to be treated fairly … but there’s a sense that that won’t hold true for much longer, and that’s why I want to run for office.”

Both honorees received their awards not simply because their political persuasions aligned with those of BC’s College Democrats, but because their commitment to public service has distinguished them as unusually worthy and caring politicians.

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