Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden to visit Pasadena Friday

By Justin Chapman, Pasadena Weekly, 7/18/2019

Pasadena City Councilman John Kennedy, in what he is calling an effort to bring “prepared, competent, relevant and sane leadership to the White House,” will welcome Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden to his home on Friday, July 19, for a lunchtime fundraiser.

“I have known Joe Biden for over 30 years,” said Kennedy, who represents Pasadena’s District 3. “So it is with an abundance of history and respect … as well as personal affection that I am hosting Vice President Biden at an intimate lunch gathering. This will be a special opportunity for each guest to meet and talk with Joe Biden and join in the excitement of becoming instrumental in electing Joe Biden as the next leader of our country.”

Biden is currently the frontrunner in the crowded field of Democratic candidates. His poll numbers have taken a hit in the weeks since fellow candidate and California Sen. Kamala Harris criticized his opposition to 1970s-era school busing policies as a U.S. senator and his comments on working with segregationist senate colleagues, for which he subsequently apologized. On Monday, Biden denounced Medicare-for-all and laid out his healthcare plan, an extension of the Affordable Care Act that retains private insurance.

Those expected to attend the event at Kennedy’s home include his sister Lena L. Kennedy and District 6 City Councilman Steve Madison.

On June 29, Harris spoke at a private fundraiser at the West Pasadena home of Tamerlin Godley, who is running for Madison’s District 6 council seat.

During a visit to Pasadena in 2017, Biden called for unity and said the United States is “the only nation in the world organized around the notion that anything is possible. It’s time for us to pick our heads up again. We have a lot to lose but so much to gain if we start to pull together and treat each other with a little bit of decency in the political realm. It is time for us to lead the world again.”

Biden’s visit to Pasadena follows those of several other Democratic presidential candidates in recent weeks. On May 30, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand spoke at the Women’s City Club of Pasadena. On May 31, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders held a political rally at the Pasadena Convention Center and he, Harris, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee participated in the first presidential forum focused on immigration at the Pasadena Hilton.

Fellow presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana is also reportedly finalizing plans to stump in Pasadena.

Candidates are making sure to show up in California because the state has moved its primary election date up from June to March 3, also known as Super Tuesday. The earlier date — after only Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — will ensure that California voters and the state’s nearly 500 delegates play a decisive role in determining the eventual nominee, who will be chosen at the Democratic National Convention in July 2020 in Milwaukee.

“Joe Biden has the requisite experience, temperament, intellect, broad-mindedness and fortitude to serve this nation in its top elected position,” said Kennedy. “As we face daunting challenges at home and abroad to restore competency, civility and respect for the rule of law, we need Joe’s leadership more than ever. Guided by basic decency and humanity, Joe is a true public servant with the compassion and commitment to serve the American people today and the experience to effectively get things done.”