Russell 317, the office from which Senator Ted Kennedy worked as the Gentleman from Massachusetts worked for so many years, will close up this weekend to prepare for its new tenant. Democrat Paul Kirk will take over the office space of his former friend and mentor. The history of the office and the stories told if these walls could talk is not lost on Kirk. Politico has a brief snapshot of some of the better known landmarks:
From that office, Kennedy planned his opposition to Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987, saw enactment of his Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990, expanded the Head Start program for low-income children in 1992, won passage of the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act in 1994, saw the enactment of the State Children's Health Insurance Program in 1997, advocated for fair housing legislation in 1998, won passage of a 1999 federal law establishing the Defense Department's child care system, planned peace talks in Northern Ireland in 1998, helped enact the 2001 No Child Left Behind law and saw the 2008 passage of the Mental Health Parity Act, which requires health insurers to improve coverage for mental illnesses.
Regardless of your political affiliation and ideological bent it's hard to think of another public servant who has been as instrumental in as many monumental events in politics and policy.