Over 100 Americans affected by gun violence will attend Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Each member of Congress gets one guest, and many opted to give their ticket to a constituent affected by gun tragedy, part of an effort spearheaded by third district Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who announced earlier today Victoria Soto’s brother, Carlos Soto, will be attending. Rep. Elizabeth Esty is bringing Natalie Hammond, the lead teacher at Sandy Hook who survived the shooting on Dec. 14. Rep. Jim Himes will bring a guest as well.
Before the speech on Tuesday, some of the members of Congress and their guests will hold a press conference with the leaders of two gun control advocacy groups: Mark Glaze of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Dan Gross of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Guests will have a chance to share their own personal stories and voice their opinions on gun violence prevention. Rosa DeLauro will be one of the lawmakers to speak, but Soto’s attendance at the press conference is not yet confirmed.
One of the women who will be at the press conference is Cleopatra Cowley, the mother of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton. Pendleton was shot and killed in Chicago last week, only days after she performed at Obama’s Inauguration.