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May 10, 2015

EMK Institute Hosts Senate Majority Leader McConnell to Launch Speaker Series

McConnell inaugural speaker at “Getting to the Point” Series

BOSTON- Today the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate welcomed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as the inaugural speaker in the Institute’s “Getting to the Point” series which aims to convene individuals with diverse perspectives to discuss current issues and the challenges our government is facing. Leader McConnell spoke in the Institute’s full-scale representation of the Senate Chamber.

“From a young age, I’ve always admired the grandeur of the Senate,” said Leader McConnell in prepared remarks. “Its complex rules, its free-wheeling debate, and its strong protections for the minority make it one of the most unique legislative bodies on earth. And one of the most enduring.”

Leader McConnell continued, “The Senate is the place our country comes together to solve some of its most complex and intractable problems. It’s where men and women of good will have often worked out durable compromise and lasting reform….That’s why people matter so much in the Senate.”

Victoria Reggie Kennedy, president of the Institute’s Board of Directors delivered opening remarks with Jackie Calmes, National Correspondent for the New York Times moderating a discussion with Leader McConnell following his opening remarks.

“The Edward M. Kennedy Institute was created to educate the public about the important role of the United States Senate in our government, to encourage participatory democracy, invigorate civil discourse and inspire a new generation of leaders,” said Mrs. Kennedy.

“This afternoon, with [Leader McConnell speaking at] our ‘Getting to the Point’ program series, I believe we fulfilled every single aspect of that ambitious mission statement. I know that it’s fashionable to say that Washington is irretrievably broken and polarized. But I, for one, don’t believe that. As Teddy used to say, you can disagree without being disagreeable…Both my husband and our speaker today revered the institution of the Senate and understood what Senator McConnell has said, that the Senate is – and I quote – ‘one of the greatest tools we have in this country for guaranteeing a durable and stable legislative consensus.’”

Also in attendance were; Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Massachusetts State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and former U.S. Senator Paul Kirk. Leader McConnell was the inaugural speaker in the launch of our first major public programming series entitled Getting to the Point.

About the “Getting to the Point” Series The Getting to the Point series aims to convene individuals with diverse perspectives to discuss current issues and the challenges our government is facing. Getting to the Point will take on various formats from town halls to keynote lectures and panel discussions, and will showcase speakers from all walks of life, from Members of Congress and public officials to celebrities, business people, academics, and ordinary citizens. A full list of upcoming “Getting to the Point” programs will be announced soon.

About the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in our government, encouraging participatory democracy, invigorating civil discourse, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the civic life of their communities. The Institute will be a dynamic center of learning and engagement that uses innovative technology to provide each visitor with an information-rich, personalized experience that will bring important historical and current debates to life. To learn more about the EMK Institute, please visit EMKInstitute.org.

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