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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 4

Photo of Brynne S. Kennedy

Brynne S. Kennedy

Businesswoman
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Healthcare: As the daughter of parents who each fought battles against cancer, I’ll work to protect people with pre-existing conditions, while working to promote choice, expand coverage, and lower health care premiums and drug prices.
  • Economy and Taxes: To create jobs, I’ll work to incentivize small business growth and modernize our infrastructure, while closing outdated tax loopholes and restoring state and local tax deductions.
  • Government Reform: I’ll fight to end unlimited campaign donations and reject corporate PAC money. I’ll work to make government work smarter by auditing agencies and using my technology background to cut costs and boost transparency.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Businesswoman
Director (Board of Directors), Topia Mobility Inc. (2010–current)
Founder and CEO, Topia Mobility Inc. (2010–2019)
Associate, Investments, Standard and Chartered Bank (2008–2009)
Analyst, Corporate Finance, Lehman Brothers (2006–2007)

Education

London Business School Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Entrepreneurial Management (2012)
Yale University Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), History (2006)

Community Activities

Member, Young Presidents Organization (YPO-Global Leadership Community) (2016–current)
Founder, Mobility4All Refugee Initiative (2016–2019)
Member, TechNet (2018–2019)
Volunteer Chapter Leader, Room to Read (2006–2008)

Biography

Partisan gridlock in Washington. Wildfires. The rising cost of healthcare. The national debt. Jobs and the economy. The outsized influence of special interests. These are not Democratic or Republican issues. These are American issues.

Yet too many politicians from both parties are trying to get us to fight against each other, neighbor against neighbor. Brynne Kennedy is a candidate for United States Congress who will put partisanship aside and put our communities first.

An accomplished businesswoman, Kennedy is the founder of Topia – a software company that has pioneered new tools to help more businesses compete in a changing economy, while helping tens of thousands of workers transition into new jobs and communities.

She was raised in a rural community that struggled in the aftermath of manufacturing plant closures. Her father was a community college teacher, the first in his family to attend college and a military veteran. Her mother runs a small-town store.

Her parents instilled the values of hard work and determination – often working late into the night to support the family and save for the future.  As both fought tough battles against cancer, Brynne experienced the challenges that many families face in our healthcare system first hand.

Growing up, Brynne was a competitive gymnast, who won three State Championships and qualified for the US National Junior Elite Training Team before an injury ended her Olympic aspirations.

After graduating college, Kennedy worked on financing infrastructure and housing projects in high growth communities across the world.  Determined to be the best in a field dominated by men, she routinely put in 80-100 hour work weeks – even as she faced many barriers to advancement.

As a business leader, she saw the opportunity for smart investments to uplift and transform communities, but also the importance of holding powerful interests accountable to basic standards and values. 

These experiences shaped Kennedy’s efforts to develop new ways to support workers in rapidly changing and increasingly mobile work environments.  Under Kennedy’s determined leadership, Topia began in 2010 as an idea at a kitchen table, and grew into a global software company that has created hundreds of good paying jobs with benefits like paid parental leave and employee stock ownership.

Since leaving Topia, Kennedy has emerged as one of America’s leading voices on the effects of technology on the workplace, and for policies that enable more workers and businesses to acquire the skills and support to compete in the 21st century. She’s a former columnist for the Financial Times and her first book was published by McGraw-Hill in October of 2019.

Brynne is also the founder of Mobility4All, a charitable initiative that supported refugees displaced by political conflict and environmental disruptions, and has advised lawmakers on policy issues in the face of a changing economy that too often shortchanges rural communities in favor of large coastal cities.

Today Brynne Kennedy is running for Congress because she knows that politicians have failed to stand up for middle class families struggling to make it in today’s economy.  She knows progress demands a willingness to work with people from different points of view to solve problems. She’ll bring the real world leadership experience we need to cut through partisan gridlock and help more people in California’s 4th District realize the American Dream – just like she did.

Brynne Kennedy earned her Bachelors Degree from Yale University, her MBA from the London Business School, and speaks Mandarin and French. She lives in Roseville, California.

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (3)

What financing method(s) would you support to repair or improve roads, rails, ports, airports, the electrical grid, and other infrastructure in the U.S.?
Answer from Brynne S. Kennedy:

For too often, this important discussion has defaulted into an ideological fight over new taxes or arbitrary spending cuts. We need to start by working to make our government smarter and more efficient--with regular financial and performance audits of every federal agency to eliminate waste, integrate new technologies and increase efficiency so our tax dollars go further. Similarly, we need an annual cost/benefit analysis of the $1.5 trillion we spend every year through our tax code so we can eliminate loopholes and subsidies that do not benefit middle class families, or create real solutions for today’s problems.  We can apply the savings from these efforts as a down payment on comprehensive infrastructure modernization that is only growing more expensive each year.  I would also support creating a National Infrastructure Bank that to help state and local governments secure low-cost financing for the most important projects, like roads, rail, water storage and other projects. From there, I believe we should consider additional public and private financing methods and incentives, recognizing that they will be at least partially offset by the economic gains that these investments will bring to our economy, and our communities.

What programs or legislation, if any, would you support to help Americans of all ages to secure affordable health care?
Answer from Brynne S. Kennedy:

The Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect, and I want to work to make it better.  I would support adding a public option to the existing insurance exchanges to expand choice, grow access to coverage and improve affordability. This will protect people who may like their existing private plan, expand choices in communities with limited private options, and add the market competition we need to expand coverage and reduce premiums.  On rural healthcare specifically, I support legislation to enable more full-service hospitals to transition into outpatient clinics, will work to expand rural broadband so that more communities can access telemedicine, and support value-based metrics to increase reimbursement rates in communities with lower patient loads, as well as tax and loan forgiveness options to incentivize more medical professionals to work in underserved areas.  I support HR 3 which would reduce drug prices by allowing Medicare to use its market power to negotiate lower costs, cap out-of-pocket costs for families, and to allow for the importation of safe, lower cost alternatives from other countries.

Describe an immigration policy that you would support if presented to the House of Representatives.
Answer from Brynne S. Kennedy:

First, I won’t use this issue to divide Americans and score partisan points.  Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle know the most cost-effective way to secure our border is by fixing a broken immigration system  that only invites more chaos.  This should include investing in more border agents, technology, immigration judges and physical barriers where they make sense, as well as accessible legal pathways for skilled workers, children, military families and legitimate asylum seekers.  And we must reform our visa system and labor laws to meet the needs of our economy without inviting more unlawful immigration or shortchanging American workers.  The bi-partisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act was an important step forward in this regard. 

Questions from The Sacramento Bee (3)

In an era of polarized politics, which issues show the most promise for bipartisan agreement?
Answer from Brynne S. Kennedy:

I don’t think this is a question of issues so much as it as a question of leadership.  Too many career politicians put their party bosses and special interest donors ahead of the communities they were elected to serve.  As a businesswoman who pioneered new tools to help make businesses competitive and help workers access middle class jobs, I didn’t ask if something was a Republican or Democratic solution.  I focused on bringing people together and finding the right solution for our community.  From healthcare and taxes, to infrastructure and protecting our communities from wildfires, we need to set partisanship aside and put our community first.  And that’s exactly how I’ll serve in Congress.    

Should the federal government help California with its homelessness problem? If so, how? If not, why not?
Answer from Brynne S. Kennedy:

California’s growing homelessness problem is a function of many factors, including a lack of affordable housing (particularly in high demand communities), economic and environmental disruptions that have displaced large numbers of families, and insufficient leadership in coordinating the work across all levels of government, non-profits, churches and the private sector.  The federal government plays a key role in directly funding grant programs and other initiatives that must support evidence based models that have proven to break the cycle and lead people to self-sufficiency-- including mental healthcare treatment, drug and alcohol abuse prevention and treatment, rapid rehousing initiatives and  especially addressing the national shame of homeless veterans..  In the past, there was also a significant federal investment in the creation of new housing, and part of the growing population of homelessness can be traced back to ending that investment. On the housing supply side, the federal government can play a role by working with the state government to streamline red tape and regulation, and promoting construction of more affordable units by modernizing and expanding the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)..  This Reagan Administration initiative has helped privately finance millions of new units but was undermined by the 2017 tax reform bill.

Should federal income taxes be reduced again? If so, for whom? If not, why not?
Answer from Brynne S. Kennedy:

Yes.  Too many middle class families in our district were shortchanged  by the 2017 tax reform bill’s cap on State and Local Tax Deductions (SALT deduction cap) and certain wildfire and property losses.  These provisions alone are costing many families in our district and across California thousands of dollars every year.  I will actively work to roll back these middle class tax hikes by restoring these critical deductions.  I will also work to expand tax credits and incentives that bring good paying jobs and innovation to our district.   

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $835,663

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Employees of Brave Coaching
$11,200
1
Employees of Nea
$11,200
2
Brynne S. Kennedy
$9,571
3
Employees of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
$8,400
3
Employees of Minted
$8,400
3
Employees of New Enterprise Associates (NEA)
$8,400

More information about contributions

By State:

California 83.25%
New York 5.95%
Massachusetts 1.90%
District of Columbia 1.19%
Other 7.70%
83.25%

By Size:

Large contributions (91.30%)
Small contributions (8.70%)
91.30%8.70%

By Type:

From organizations (1.68%)
From individuals (98.32%)
98.32%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

It’s time to put our community first and reject the toxic partisanship that is tearing our nation apart.

As patriots, we can say “yes” to working together and solving big problems like fixing our roads and bridges, lowering the cost of healthcare, stopping special interest corruption, and protecting our communities from wildfires.

I built a successful business from scratch by challenging outdated systems, and creating tools to help more workers access middle class jobs.  As a businesswoman, I didn’t care about Republican or Democratic solutions. I cared about the right solution.

That’s how I’ll serve in Congress—by always putting the interests of our community and our country ahead of party bosses in Washington.

Videos (3)

— February 21, 2020 Brynne Kennedy for Congress
— February 21, 2020 Brynne Kennedy for Congress
— February 21, 2020 Brynne Kennedy for Congress

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