The annual State of the Union address isn’t just an opportunity for the president to make a political statement, but for lawmakers to do so as well – only instead of a long speech, members of Congress bring guests who reflect and represent their political priorities.
For President Donald Trump’s first official State of the Union address on Tuesday night, New York lawmakers will be accompanied by a range of guests, from a former addict to Dreamers to a deli owner. Here is the list of guests that have been announced by members of New York’s congressional delegation so far:
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer – The Senate minority leader will bring Stephanie Keegan, the mother of a military veteran who died of an overdose. With his guest, Schumer hopes to draw attention to the “beating back the opioid scourge and treating those afflicted by addiction.”
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand – New York’s junior senator will be accompanied by Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, who has been a vocal critic of Trump.
It is an honor to announce that Mayor @CarmenYulinCruz of San Juan, Puerto Rico will join me at the #SOTU. Throughout the crisis in Puerto Rico, Mayor Cruz has shown extraordinary leadership and fearless advocacy for her city.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) January 29, 2018
I hope Mayor Cruz's presence at #SOTU will remind the president and my colleagues in Congress of our urgent responsibility to help Puerto Rico fully recover and rebuild. Our fellow citizens must not be forgotten or left behind.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) January 29, 2018
An honor to represent thousands in San Juan and more in Puerto Rico who still have no electricity and fight everyday for a better today.— Carmen Yulín Cruz (@CarmenYulinCruz) January 29, 2018
Rep. Lee Zeldin – Zeldin is bringing Donato Panico, a deli owner and founder of a nonprofit that provides food for first responders.
Rep. Tom Suozzi – Suozzi’s guest is Nelson Melgar, a constituent and a Dreamer, in light of Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Suozzi said that “we must fight for Nelson and other DREAMers like him.”
Rep. Gregory Meeks – Meeks is boycotting the State of the Union address.
Rep. Grace Meng – Like Gillibrand, Meng is drawing attention to the ongoing crisis in Puerto Rico by bringing Queens resident and displaced Puerto Rico native Omar Miguel Nieves Delgado to the address.
In an effort to stand with the people of #PuertoRico and #USVI and highlight the need for additional hurricane recovery funding, I’ll be bringing a displaced resident of Puerto Rico – who is presently living in #Queens – as my guest to the State of the Union tomorrow. #SOTU 1/2— Grace Meng (@RepGraceMeng) January 29, 2018
In addition to bringing my guest, I will join members of @HouseDemWomen to wear black at the State of the Union to stand in solidarity with victims of sexual assault and harassment. #SOTU https://t.co/82xkr9kS0t 2/2— Grace Meng (@RepGraceMeng) January 29, 2018
Rep. Nydia Velazquez – Velazquez will be attending the address with Amy Gottlieb, the wife of immigration rights activist Ravi Ragbir, who was previously detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A judge ordered Ragbir be released on Monday.
At tomorrow’s #SOTU, I’ll be wearing black as a symbol of my support for the countless brave voices of the #MeToo movement. I’ll be joined by Amy Gottlieb, wife of our own NYC immigrant rights leader, Ravi Ragbir who was, until recently, detained by ICE.— Rep. Nydia Velazquez (@NydiaVelazquez) January 29, 2018
Rep. Carolyn Maloney – Maloney will bring Diego De La Vega, an intern in her district office and a DACA recipient.
Rep. Nita Lowey – Lowey is also bringing a Dreamer, Hugo Acosta Mazariego, as her guest at the State of the Union. “I am proud to have him as my guest at the State of the Union Address, and I look forward to continuing to fight for the safety and security of Hugo and the 800,000 other Dreamers this Administration is holding captive with the threat of deportation,” she said in the statement announcing that he would be her guest.
Rep. Paul Tonko – Like Schumer, Tonko is hoping to bring attention to the opioid crisis with his guest, Brendan Norton. Norton, a former addict, now works as a rehabilitation counselor.
Very proud of my friend Brendan Norton of Saratoga Springs for sharing his powerful personal story of #addiction & recovery. Brendan will be my official guest for the President's upcoming State of the Union (1/30): https://t.co/Ct1jBlV0my— Paul Tonko (@RepPaulTonko) January 25, 2018
Rep. Elise Stefanik – Stefanik will be accompanied by Sarah Pratt, the daughter of a state trooper who died in the line of duty.
Honored to host Sarah Pratt of South Glens Falls as my guest at this year's State of the Union. Our law enforcement families make incredible sacrifices on behalf of our communities and I am humbled by the opportunity to host Sarah in our nation’s Capital. https://t.co/fCjuXi1M8b— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) January 24, 2018
Rep. John Katko – Katko’s guest, Teresa Woolson, lost her teenage son to an overdose of synthetic marijuana. While in Washington, Woolson will join Katko in meetings with members of Congress to discuss the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act, which Katko introduced.
Rep. Louise Slaughter – Slaughter is bringing Dustin Newman, an Army reservist who recently lost his job, which she says is because of the recently passed Republican tax plan.
I’m pleased to host Dustin Newman as my guest for #POTUS’ #SOTU. Despite the promises made by #POTUS and the #GOP that the #TaxScam would help companies create jobs, Dustin’s story is just one example of the reality that we’re seeing across the country.— Louise Slaughter (@louiseslaughter) January 29, 2018
When #POTUS looks into the gallery during the speech, I want him to see Dustin – a proud Army Reservist – and the impacts of his broken promises.— Louise Slaughter (@louiseslaughter) January 29, 2018
Rep. Joe Crowley – The chair of the House Democratic Caucus is also highlighting the plight of DACA recipients by bringing Romer Cisneros, a Dreamer and a former intern of Crowley’s.
Rep. Claudia Tenney – Tenney will be accompanied by her son, Capt. Wayne Cleary, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps.
It’s an honor to be joined by my son, Captain Wayne Cleary, @USMC, at @POTUS first #SOTU address. It is an inspiration to represent so many veterans in our community who have answered the noble call to serve this great nation. pic.twitter.com/Stns6qsIvL— Congresswoman Tenney (@RepTenney) January 30, 2018
Rep. Adriano Espaillat – Espaillat is bringing Vanessa Caldari, a Puerto Rican midwife and founder of a women’s health organization, in order to raise awareness of maternal and infant health in Puerto Rico.
Rep. Peter King – King will bring his son-in-law, John Sweeney, while his daughter, Erin King Sweeney, will reportedly wait for the pair at the Trump International Hotel and join them for drinks afterward.
Rep. Tom Reed – A local news outlet reported that Reed will be bringing Tiffany Folk, the mother of a college student who committed suicide in December.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney – Maloney is reportedly bringing his brother, Joe, to the address.