Local Official Credits Kennedy for His Success

August 27, 2009 12:20:24 AM PDT
It was a meeting with Senator Ted Kennedy nearly 40 years ago, that set Carl Jones on his lifelong path."I owe him a whole lot." Jones said.

Jones's work with a Massachusetts state legislator caught the attention of the Senator. At a meeting with Kennedy and a senate colleague, Jones recalls being asked where he went to college.

"In my embarrassment I said I had not gone to school and that's when they began to make sure the process for me was to get into a college."

Thanks to Kennedy, Jones was able to go to college, get a degree, and enjoy a long career in state and national politics and public service in Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, Ohio and Washington D.C.

He and his wife Dezi Woods-Jones, the former Vice-Mayor of Oakland, came to the Valley to retire. But Carl recently took on a new job as the Executive Analyst for the Fresno City Council. Jones is also a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and says Ted Kennedy brought a religious dedication to his job.

"Much like a preacher. For me, it's that when you have a compassion and a calling for people then no matter what you make sure you fulfill that which has given you and I think was his purpose is to be the Senator and to make sure that people got a fair deal." Jones said.

Jones says he never socialized with Ted Kennedy, but remained in contact with him over the years. He believes the best way to honor the Senator is by finishing the work he started.

Jones said, "I think we, one, should get that health care bill through. But two, just to remember what was given, not only by Ted but his whole family. What they gave to this country was tremendous."

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