Rock star Bono, the 26-year-old who disarmed a gunman in last month’s shooting in Monterey Park, California, and Tire Nichols’ family will be among the guests seated next to first lady Jill Biden at the State of the Union address on Tuesday.
The White House said guests were invited “because they personify issues or themes to be addressed by the president in his speech, or embody the policies of the Biden-Harris administration at work for the American people.” many of the invitees by name during his remarks.
– Maurice and Kandice Barron of New York, parents of a 3-year-old boy who survived a rare childhood cancer, wanted to highlight Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative.
— Lynette Bonar of Tuba City, Arizona, nurse and medical director involved in bringing the first cancer center to a Native American reservation.
— Bono, the Irish lead singer of U2, for his advocacy and philanthropic support of global health and AIDS relief efforts.
– Deanna Branch of Milwaukee, whose son was diagnosed with lead poisoning from unsafe drinking water in their home as Biden aims to replace all lead drinking water pipes in the next decade.
— Kristin Christensen and Avarie Kollmar of Seattle, a mother-daughter duo share their story of caring for their wounded Navy veteran husband and father.
– Ruth Cohen of Rockville, Maryland, Holocaust survivor and volunteer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum who warned of growing anti-Semitism.
— Mitzi Colin Lopez of West Chester, Pennsylvania, an advocate for people brought into the United States illegally as children who received protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
— Maurice “Dion” Dykes of Knoxville, Tennessee, who is training to be a teacher after a 25-year career as a graphic designer under a program funded by the 2020 COVID-19 Relief Act.
— Kate Foley of Rolling Meadows, Illinois, a 10th grader seeking to use the skills she acquired in her school’s engineering classes to pursue a career as a biomedical engineer.
— Darlene Gaffney of North Charleston, South Carolina, a breast cancer survivor who has promoted the importance of early detection and timely cancer screenings.
— Doug Griffin of Newton, New Hampshire, who lost his daughter, Courtney, in 2014 to a fentanyl overdose as the Biden administration works to strengthen federal efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.
— Saria Gwin-Maye of Cincinnati, a steel worker who will work on the federally supported revitalization of the Brent Spence Bridge.
— Jacki Liszak of Fort Myers, Florida, who met with the president and first lady in the wake of Hurricane Ian and whose business will benefit from federal climate resilience funding.
– Harry Miller of Upper-Arlington, Ohio, a mechanical engineering student and former Ohio State University football player, who quit football to prioritize his mental health.
— Gina and Heidi Nortonsmith of Northampton, Massachusetts, plaintiffs in Goodridge v. MA Dept. of Public Health who paved the way for their state to legalize same-sex marriage.
– Paul Pelosi, the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was seriously injured just days before the midterm elections by a man with a hammer who allegedly tried to harm the California congressman.
— Paul Sarzoza of Phoenix, owner of a cleaning and plumbing services company that benefits from utility companies investing in high-tech manufacturing in his area.
— Brandon Tsay of San Marino, California, who disarmed the shooter responsible for killing 11 people in Monterey Park, California, last month during Lunar New Year celebrations, preventing more deaths.
— RowVaughn and Rodney Wells of Memphis, Tennessee, the mother and stepfather of Tire Nichols who died last month after being severely beaten by police in Memphis, sparking new calls for police reform.
— Amanda and Josh Zurawski of Austin, Texas, who found doctors unable to intervene after her waters broke prematurely at 18 weeks pregnant due to Texas’ abortion ban. Amanda Zurawski developed sepsis and nearly died as a result of delays in receiving treatment as the Biden administration seeks to highlight the fallout from the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade last year.
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