John J. Kennedy was born and raised in beautiful Pasadena. California by proud parents Thomas and Leola Kennedy. John was number eight of ten siblings – three boys and seven girls.
From an early age, he devoted his life’s work to the service of others. He was student body president at Blair High School and student senator at the University of Southern California. where he obtained a double degree in international relations and economics. He earned a JD from Howard University School of Law and was the youngest resident of the Pasadena branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
In 1987 he founded John J. Kennedy & Associates. a management consulting firm specializing in program development, public relations, conflict resolution activities, grant writing, fundraising for causes and campaigns, urban planning. and real estate rights.
John served as Deputy Chief of Police Administrative Services for the Richmond, Virginia Police Department from 1995 to 1998. While in Richmond, he attended the local university and earned a Certificate in Executive Leadership from the police from Jepson Leadership School in March 1996.
From 2004 to 2011 John served as Senior Project Manager/Community Engagement Manager for Southern California Edison. He oversaw all phases of project development and implementation of projects of varying complexity.
From 2011 to 2013, he worked with the Los Angeles Urban League as Senior Vice President – Development, Government and External Affairs. He directly oversaw individual League foundations and government fundraising efforts; produces fundraising plans; and served as a liaison for government and public policy issues at the federal, state and local levels.
Before John Kennedy was a board member, he served on the board of the Community Health Alliance of Pasadena, now ChapCare, including two years as chairman of the board.
First elected in 2013, Councilman Kennedy has proudly and tirelessly served District 3 Pasadena. During his tenure on City Council, he chaired the Public Safety Committee, served on the Finance Committee, and served as one of three City Representatives at the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport. Authority. He has served on various local boards, including the Community Health Alliance of Pasadena, the Pasadena Police Foundation, and the Toni Bradley Legacy Foundation at UCLA. He has served on the Commission on Equity for the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. Diversity and inclusion. He was a strong supporter of affordable housing, decent wages and local hiring.
In 2014, the mayor of Pasadena asked councilman Kennedy to lead a sister cities delegation to China and Taiwan on his behalf. Such an assignment was familiar and welcome as Council member Kennedy had served as a People-to-People student ambassador to several cities in Europe and had participated in goodwill missions to a number of countries in Africa. Several years ago, he led a delegation from Pasadena to Dakar-Plateau. Senegal, which is now Pasadena’s newest Sister City.
Always focused on the dire need for housing in the community, Councilman Kennedy was a tenacious advocate for the construction of quality affordable housing in District 3 and throughout the city.
Over the years, John has earned a reputation as a principled, persistent, and pragmatic decision maker who has focused on some of the most important issues facing District 3 and the City of Pasadena. He became a strong advocate for tax integrity; public safety; parks; affordable housing; hiring, subcontracting and local supplies; and progressive social justice issues, such as the environment.
Throughout his career, John has consistently demonstrated caring and innovative leadership. Results-oriented, he demonstrated initiative and an entrepreneurial spirit in accomplishing tasks and achieving objectives. Knowledge and awareness of national and international governmental practices and procedures, enhanced by extensive travel experience and political exposure, helped him achieve consensus on dozens of public issues. He was an accomplished team player.
John was the former Vice Mayor of Pasadena and was very recently re-elected to the Pasadena City Council, District 3, for a third term.
He is survived by his sisters Geraldine, Sharon, Rosalinda, Lena, Elizabeth, his brother Malcom, his brother-in-law Redell Ellis, his sister-in-law Faye Kennedy, his sister-in-law Marvell Kennedy, dozens of nieces and nephews, four godchildren, many mentees, friends and relatives. He also leaves to mourn his dear friend and companion Dr. Roseline Dauphin. John was predeceased by his parents Thomas and Leola Sudduth Kennedy; brother Michael; and sisters Gladys and Glenda.
The Kennedy family is devastated and heartbroken by the tragic passing of our beloved youngest brother, John. He was larger than life. John was a beautiful human being who loved life, loved people and loved his community. His death creates an unbearable, unimaginable situation. incombable void in our hearts and in our city. We ask the community to work with us to fill the void and elevate our city in honor of John.
At the request of Council Member Kennedy’s family, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the LEOLA SUDDUTH AND THOMAS FOSTER KENNEDY SCHOLARSHIP FUND-Pasadena Community Foundation online here bit.ly/PCFKennedyFund. Checks payable to PCF with a Kennedy Fund reference in the memo can be mailed to 301 E. Colorado Blvd., Suite 810. Pasadena, CA 91101. All donations are tax deductible.
Sympathy cards can be mailed to PO Box 40371, Pasadena CA 91114.
Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.
The Kennedy family appreciates your love, condolences and prayers. Any questions or information regarding Board Member John J. Kennedy will be handled by Joann Forte, 818-434-4140, [email protected].
—The Kennedy family
Updates will also be posted on www.electjohnjkennedy.com