Vol. 10, No. 1 August 1998
Representative Joseph P. Kennedy II to Retire
Alcohol-control advocates will soon lose a good friend in the U.S. Congress. After twelve years in the House, Representative Kennedy announced in March that he will not seek re-election. He plans to devote more time to his family and Citizens Energy, a nonprofit energy company he founded in 1979. Rep. Kennedy represents the 8th district in Massachusetts, a position formerly held by his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, and House Speaker Tip ONeill.
Since 1990, Rep. Kennedy has led efforts to reform alcohol advertising and reduce the pressure on young people to drink. He was the author and chief sponsor of the Sensible Advertising and Family Education Act (SAFE), which would require health and safety messages in alcohol ads, and has been the leading Congressional opponent of the expansion of liquor advertising into the broadcast media. In the past year, he has led House efforts to focus federal attention on college binge drinking and alcohol marketing to college students. His efforts in the House directed the Federal Trade Commission to report to Congress on trends in alcohol advertising (report pending) and initiated an NIAAA research program on the effects of alcohol ads on young people. Over the past eight years, he has authored and introduced more than a dozen bills designed to reduce the harm from alcohol. Representative Kennedy has been a true champion for the welfare of young people, and we will miss him.