In Loving Memory of John J. Kennedy May 7, 1961 -July 21, 2022
John J. Kennedy was born and raised in the beautiful city of Pasadena, California by proud parents Thomas and Leola Kennedy. John was number eight Of ten siblings — three boys and seven girls. From a young age, he dedicated his work to serving others. He served as student body president at Blair High School and student senator at the University of Southern California, where he received dual degrees in International Relations and Economics. He earned a juris doctor degree from Howard University School of Law and was the youngest person to serve as president 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 that specialized in program development, public relations, dispute resolution activities, grant writing, fundraising for causes and campaigns, urban planning, and real estate entitlements. John was the Chief of Police Administrative Services Deputy for the Richmond, Virginia Police Department from 1995-1998. While in Richmond, he attended the local university and earned a Certificate, Police Executive Leadership from Jepson Leadership School in March 1996.
From 2004 to 2011, John served as Senior Project Lead/Manager Community Involvement for Southern California Edison. He oversaw all phases of project development and implementationof projects of varying complexity.
From 2011 to 2013, he worked with the Los Angeles Urban League as Senior Vice President -Development, Government & External Affairs. He provided direct Oversight for the League's individual, foundations and government fundraising efforts; produced fundraising plans; and served as the liaison for government and public policy issues at the federal, State and local levels.
Before John Kennedy was a Councilmember, he served on the board Of Community Health Alliance of Pasadena, now ChapCare, with two of those years as Chair of the Board of Directors. First elected in 2013, Councilmember Kennedy proudly and tirelessly served Pasadena District 3. During his tenure on City Council, he chaired the Public Safety Committee, and served on the Finance Committee, and was one of three City representatives to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority. He served on a variety Of local boards — including the Community Health Alliance of Pasadena, the Pasadena Police Foundation, and the Tom Bradley Legacy Foundation at UCLA. He served on the University Of Notre Dame, School Of Architecture's Commission on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. He was an ardent supporter of affordable housing, livable wages, and local hiring.
In 2014, Pasadena's Mayor asked Councilmember Kennedy to lead a Sister Cities delegation to China and Taiwan on his behalf. Such an assignment was familiar and welcomed as Councilmember Kennedy had been a people-to-people Student Ambassador to several cities in Europe and 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 overwhelming need for housing in the community, Councilmember Kennedy was a tenacious advocate for the building of quality affordable housing in District 3 and throughout the city. Over the years, John earned a reputation as a principled, persistent and pragmatic policymaker who focused On some of the most important issues confronting District 3 and the City of Pasadena. He emerged as a strong advocate for fiscal integrity; public safety; parks; affordable housing; local hiring, contracting, and supplies; and progressive social justice issues, such as the environment.
Throughout his career, John consistently demonstrated caring and innovative leadership. Results-oriented, he exhibited initiative and an entrepreneurial spirit in accomplishing tasks and achieving goals. Knowledge and awareness of domestic and international governmental practices and procedures, enhanced by broad travel experience and political exposure, helped him achieve consensus on scores Of public issues. He was a consummate team player. John was the former Vice Mayor of Pasadena and very recently was elected to the Pasadena City Council, District 3, for a third term.
He is survived by sisters Geraldine, Sharon, Rosalinda, Lena, Elizabeth, brother Malcom, brother-in-law Redell Ellis, sister-in-law Faye Kennedy, sister-in-law Marvell Kennedy, dozens of nieces and nephews, four godchildren, numerous mentees, friends and relatives. He is also survived by his dear friend and companion Dr. Roseline Dauphin. John was preceded in death by his parents Thomas and Leola Sudduth Kennedy; brother Michael; and sisters Gladys and Glenda.
The Kennedy Family is devastated and heartbroken over the tragic passing of our beloved youngest brother John. He was bigger than life. John was a beautiful human being who loved life, loved people, and loved his community. His passing creates an unbearable, unimaginable, unfillable void in our hearts and in our city. We ask that the community work with us to fill the void and uplift our city in John's honor.
At the request of Councilmember Kennedy's family, in lieu of flowers, contributions can 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 an indication of Kennedy Fund in the memo can be mailed to 301 E. Colorado Blvd„ Suite 810, Pasadena, CA 91101. All donations are tax deductible. Cards of condolence may be sent to PO Box 40371, Pasadena CA 91114. Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming. Kennedy Family appreciates your love, condolences and prayers. Any questions or information regarding Councilmember John J. Kennedy will be handled by Joann Forte, 818-434-4140, email@example.com. The Kennedy Family updates will also be posted on www.electjohnjkennedy.com.