Kendrick’s mission has always been this: to use his talents to serve his community.
His involvement started early. When his mother, Carrie Meek, decided to run for the state Legislature, 12-year-old Kendrick helped out by painting campaign signs at the kitchen table. As a college student, he honed his political leadership skills as the founder and president of the Florida A&M University’s Democratic club. The next year, he became statewide president of the College Young Democrats.
He graduated from FAMU in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a reputation as a leader on the football field. He launched his law enforcement career as a Trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol,
helping keep the public safe on the state’s roadways. He later became a captain and was assigned to the security detail traveling with Democratic Lt. Gov. Buddy MacKay.
Still, he couldn’t shake the feeling that writing laws - not simply enforcing them - was where he could have his greatest impact. So he resigned from his job and ran for a seat in the Florida House of Representatives, which he won. He served there from 1995 to 1998 and in the Florida Senate from 1999 to 2002.
In 2002, Kendrick was elected to represent the 17th Congressional District of Florida, which includes parts of Miami-Dade and Broward County. He was elected to his fourth term in the U.S. House in 2008. He’s a co-chairman of the 30-Something Working Group, whose goal is to engage young people in the legislative process.
Kendrick is the son of retired Congresswoman Carrie Meek. He is married to the former Leslie Dixon of Brooklyn, New York. Leslie is a former Miami prosecutor who met Kendrick when a judge they both knew introduced them and insisted that they go out to lunch. Eighteen years later, the couple has two children, Lauren and Kendrick Jr.