Arthur” Art Kennedy holds numerous titles. Chief of Staff for U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings. Devoted member serving on the Hospitality team at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church. Confidant and trusted advisor to Former Governor Jeb Bush, Leader of Fort Lauderdale’s campaign for a strong mayor and single member districts. However, the titles for which he is best known, and the ones that he prefers, are father, friend, and son. For those who truly know him, all are one and one is all.
He‘s the son of the later Arthur “ Pappy” Kennedy who resided in Orlando and husband of the late Daisy Kennedy, father to six children, and grandfather to eighteen, but he has assumed the role of godfather to countless children throughout the state of Florida. He has committed his entire life to helping provide a college education, by plugging into his numerous personal contacts and Florida’s business owners to provide tuition assistance for children for whom college would otherwise be little more than a dream. He relentlessly follows their academic and social progress, and walks them through a myriad of life’s challenges. He strongly believes that that every child who wants an education should have one.
As for the title of friend, his friends are individuals who are not afraid to stand up for what is right and fair and just. Individuals who are willing to risk their reputation, their livelihood, and if necessary their lives, to pursue justice, are winners in his book and his friendship is color-blind. Art is a worker, not a celebrator.
His professional statistics include accomplishments of which few can boast. Among them, he is a former public school teacher, the chief labor advocate for Broward Classroom Teachers, a Title I administrator, and coach. Art is a distinguished alumnus earning his Bachelors of Science in Physical Education from South Carolina State College, and Masters of Science in Recreation from University of Illinois in Urbana Illinois. In addition to serving as the Chief of Staff to Congressman Alcee Hastings, with whom he has worked side in civil rights efforts for more than 40 years, he also served an appointee by Governor Jeb Bush to a then third term as a Commissioner of the Florida Department for Transportation, where he delivered a common sense approach to then some of the state’s most complicated transportation challenges.