Meet CNY Native Kayla McKeon, Washington’s First Lobbyist With Down Syndrome
Kayla McKeon, a Syracuse native, is breaking barriers on Capitol Hill as Washington’s very first registered lobbyist with Down Syndrome and she has every intention of advocating for people with Down Syndrome.
McKeon, 30-years-old, was at a church festival a few years ago when she bumped into John Katko who was at the event campaigning for Congress in New York’s 24th district. Katko made a promise to McKeon that if he won the seat in Congress he would have a job for her. Katko honored that promise.
Following Katko’s win, McKeon began an internship in his office and as they say, “the rest is history.” McKeon admits to the Washington Post that her secret to success in Washington is that she gets to know people, she makes a personal connection with them, and that she genuinely cares.
Being a lobbyist isn’t just a pipe dream for McKeon. Already the political world has felt her moving and shaking as McKeon helped to get a bill signed into law that allows those with disabilities to save larger amounts of money without their Medicaid benefits taking a penalty.
While not lobbying in Washington, McKeon lives at home in Syracuse with her parents, Patti and Mark and is pursuing her Associate's Degree at Onondaga Community College. And if all of that isn’t incredible enough, McKeon also defied hurdles and is the proud carrier of a New York State drivers license. McKeon has also been named to the President's Committee For People With Intellectual Disabilities, quite an honor indeed.