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School Board Scheduled to Review Request That Would Honor Councilmember John J. Kennedy

Published on Wednesday, September 14, 2022 | 5:41 pm

Councilmember John J Kennedy [file photo]
The Pasadena Board of Education is scheduled to review a request by a local attorney to name a school amphitheater after recently deceased City Councilmember John J. Kennedy.

Kennedy died on July 21.

Shortly after his death former Pasadena Mayor Bill Paparian called on Blair High School, which Kennedy attended, to name the school’s amphitheater after Kennedy.

“Please consider naming the amphitheater at Blair High School in his memory so that his life and legacy will be a source of inspiration for generations to come,” Paparian said in July. “His family and friends can think of no better tribute to his life of selfless service to our City. The campus at Blair High School is where it all began.”

Kennedy served as student body president in his senior year at the school.

The school board will review the request at its September 22 meeting. School board member Michelle Richardson Bailey told Pasadena Now she supports the name change.

Kennedy’s death sent reverberations throughout the region. He is the first sitting Pasadena City Councilmember to die while serving in office in modern times since the Board of Directors was renamed as the City Council.

In 2013, Kennedy was elected to serve as a council member. He also served on the Finance Committee, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, and as one of three City representatives to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.

Born and raised in Pasadena, 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.

According to his bio on the City’s website, he earned a Juris Doctor Degree from Howard University School of Law, and was the youngest person to have served as President of the Pasadena Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Having worked for the City of Pasadena in the Finance, City Attorney, Police, and Public Works Departments, he also served on a variety of Boards including the Pasadena Police Foundation, Tom Bradley Legacy Foundation at UCLA, Library Task Force for Alternate Funding, the Community Health Alliance of Pasadena, Community Development Committee, and the Developers’ Selection Committee for Heritage Square Senior Housing Development.

In the private sector, John ran his own management consulting business. He also worked for a family company with responsibility in philanthropy, real estate and business development. He also served as the Senior Vice President of the Los Angeles Urban League; was Director of Special Projects for Southern California Edison; served as Vice President of Countrywide Home Loans; and was Deputy Chief of Police in Richmond, Virginia.

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