Remembering Ted Kennedy

written by naehblog
August 26, 2009

Like so many others today, the Alliance mourns the loss of the esteemed public servant, Senator Ted Kennedy. His leadership, courage, and conviction will undoubtedly ensure his place in our collective memory.

It’s fitting that the Alliance first had the opportunity to host Senator Ted Kennedy ten years ago – the same year that the Alliance introduced the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness. At our 1999 annual conference – The End of Homelessness: Blueprint for New Millennium – the senator joined Mrs. Tipper Gore in addressing the conference of 500 homeless advocates, providers, and community leaders.

The senator had not always been in the plan. In fact, the Alliance had initially invited a staff member (presumably because we figured that the senator had prior engagements) from the senator’s office to discuss mental illness among the homeless.

And then luck intervened. Another staff member, who noticed the Alliance invitation and conference materials, thought that the conference would be a fitting venue to debut the senator’s new language on mental health. And so, in July 1999, the senator joined the Alliance staff and conference attendees at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Senator Kennedy – the ‘lion of the Senate’ – spent his entire adult life in service to his country. The Alliance joins the nation in honoring the legacy of the great public servant.