February 04, 2020

Illinois Lawmakers Invite Special Guests to Attend President Trump’s State of the Union Address

Source: NBC Chicago


A large group of Illinois lawmakers will be attending President Donald Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night, and many will be bringing special guests.

 U. S. Senator Dick Durbin will be accompanied by Westinghouse College Prep student De'andre Wilborn, according to a press release.

Wilborn is a talented student-athlete who met Sen. Durbin last October. The two took part in a round-table event at Westinghouse about the "Northwestern Medicine Scholars Program," which has a partnership with Chicago Public schools.

Wilborn is interested in a career in medicine, according to the senator's office.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth's guest will be environmental justice advocate Celeste Flores. Flores is an immigrant who, according to a press release, fights for environmental justice in her community.

“I’m so pleased to bring Celeste—a tireless advocate for environmental justice—as my guest to the State of the Union so together, we can shine a light on these issues and raise awareness of the fact that these communities face public health challenges at alarming rates while too many in power look the other way," Duckworth said in a statement.

Illinois Rep. Lauren Underwood is bringing nurse Lauren Battaglia to the president's speech.  Battaglia serves as the Trauma Coordinator for Emergency Services at Northwestern Medicine in McHenry.

Battaglia is a member of Underwood’s Nursing Advisory Council, according to a press release.

Congressman Adam  Kinzinger is bringing his fiancee Sofia Boza-Holman. He recently returned from a military mission.

An Illinois veteran who was deported following a non-violent drug conviction will attend the address with Congressman Jesus "Chuy" Garcia.

Miguel Perez spent years fighting his deportation for a non-violent drug conviction in 2010. Last year he was pardoned by Governor J.B. Pritzker and was allowed to return to the United States.

While most of Illinois' lawmakers plan to be in attendance, Rep. Bobby Rush is boycotting the speech, according to a press release from his office.

The president's State of the Union Address is expected to begin at approximately 8 p.m. Central time.

By:  Suzanne Richter