Profile of a Courageous Grandmother and First-Time Volunteer for RFK Jr.

Profile of a Courageous Grandmother and First-Time Volunteer for RFK Jr.
American Values 2024 | March 15, 2024

Beverly Morris, a 64-year-old single grandmother, raising six grandchildren by herself (ages 8 to 16), never considered herself a political person. But once she heard Robert F. Kennedy Jr., she knew she wanted to get involved.

“Before, I had just decided I wasn’t gonna vote,” she said. “I was like, ‘I’m not really for Trump. I’m not really for Biden. And I’m not really like a Democrat or a Republican.’ I’m just for the person who’s going to turn this country around, you know? That’s what’s important.”

Hers is a position and sentiment shared by most Americans. The nation’s in trouble and we need some intelligent, problem-solving leadership.

Listening to Kennedy on podcasts stirred something inside Morris. She’d never before believed a politician actually cared about the struggles of average American families. So, when a friend asked if she would help with a party for Kennedy in Austin, hosted by American Values 2024 (which funds The Kennedy Beacon), Morris jumped at the chance. It was the first time she’d ever done anything to help a political candidate.

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While thousands of South by Southwest (SXSW) attendees were milling around Congress Avenue and Sixth Street on Saturday afternoon, Morris, together with dozens of volunteers, helped set up for the event. As bystanders peered through the restaurant’s giant windows, Morris and the team arranged lights, microphones, and “Kennedy for President” banners, ironed tablecloths, updated guest lists, and set out charcuterie boards, drinks, books, brochures, candles, flowers, and “Vote Bobby” buttons.

When hundreds of registered guests lined up along Sixth Street just before eight, Morris took a seat at the check-in table. And later, when things settled down, she stood in line to have her picture taken with Kennedy.

“There were so many people still waiting to meet him,” she said, “but when it was my turn, he didn’t rush me. He turned and said, ‘So tell me who you are. What’s your name?’ I couldn’t believe he was interested in me or took the time to ask my name!”

Addressing the crowd, Kennedy spoke with his signature conviction and passion about how America’s been involved in too many conflicts overseas for far too long. He talked about the epidemic of chronic illness in the US, especially among children. And when Kennedy told the partygoers about his plans to fund research to find the potential causes of chronic disease in American kids, Morris’ heart leaped.

“When I was a kid,” she said, “I didn’t hear of anybody – my friends or classmates – being diabetic, having ADHD, you know, like having all these allergies that we’re seeing all of our kids have now.”

Morris said she believes Kennedy clearly cares more for regular Americans than Trump or Biden. And what he said about rising inflation and interest rates, and how he expressed genuine concern about the financial stressors crushing the middle class, resonated too.

“I loved it, when he said things need to be more affordable,” she said. “Families can’t purchase homes right now, considering the economy. All that needs to change.”

“I love it when Kennedy says things need to be more affordable. We need to get back to where families can at least go on a vacation. This year all our money’s being used up on food and gas to get to work!”

Morris searched her phone for an old picture of the time she set her pile of bills aside, put the grandkids in the car, and drove them to the Gulf of Mexico for the day. She hoped out loud that she’d have enough money to take them on a week-long vacation someday.

Energized by the thought of Kennedy becoming our president, Morris talked with her granddaughter about Kennedy, and somewhere in there, she mentioned that Kennedy had just turned 70. The teenager could not believe it. “He looks so good for his age!” she exclaimed.

“Yep, because he’s all about health,” Morris told her. “So if he’s about his health, he’s gonna be saying to Americans, ‘You gotta be more concerned about your health … and all these medications all these companies have been trying to put in your body!’”

Kennedy’s campaign is revitalizing the hopes for America’s future in the hearts of many people who, like Beverly Morris, work incredibly hard to hold their families together and put food on the table. But even more than giving people hope, he is inspiring people to stand and be counted.

“I’m thinking I need to go out and get some voter registration cards soon,” Morris said. “I want to give one to every person I know who’s not yet registered to vote, ‘cause we can’t fix any of this, if we’re not voting.”

Then she mentioned, quietly, the notion of maybe wanting to run for political office herself some day.

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