As mainstay of political theater ahead of the State of the Union every year, legislators from across the country announce who they plan to have accompany them to the Capitol building. The priorities of each political party are on clear display in their choices of guests, and this year is no different for Illinois politicians
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald J. Trump (C) delivers his first address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (L) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) listen on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress focused on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo - Pool/Getty Images)
Durbin is bringing Cesar Montelongo, a medical PhD student at Loyola University and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, to the State of the Union. Durbin has been been on the frontlines of negotiations with the White House as the Democrats have attempted to salvage the Obama-era protections for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
Duckworth is bringing Cairo Junior/Senior High School Principal Lisa Childs Thomas, the senator's office said in a statement. Thomas grew up in Alexander County Housing Authority’s McBride public housing complex in Cairo, which Duckworth said the Trump administration shuttered without a plan to rehouse those that will be displaced.
Rush is boycotting the State of the Union. In a statement, Rush said, “This has been the most chaotic, divisive, and incompetent first year of any administration, and I will not sit and watch as Trump pretends that he’s off to a successful start. He’s not.”
Kelly will be joined by state Sen. Kwame Raoul. The state legislator is running to be the next Illinois Attorney General and is widely considered to be the frontrunner. Raoul was critical of Trump's comments reportedly calling Haiti and African nations "s--tholes," as his parents immigrated to the United States from Haiti.
Lipinski is bringing clinical therapist Faith Ann Rys, an expert witness on sexual assault who specializes in treating high school and college-age survivors.
With plans to retire at the end of his term, Gutierrez - who has been vocal in his opposition to Trump's policies, particularly on immigration - will attend his final State of the Union making a statement with his clothing. He will wear black in solidarity with the #MeToo and #Time’sUp movements, as well as a swatch of kente cloth to support African nationas, a spokesman told the Chicago Tribune.
Quigley will watch the State of the Union with Erin Walton, executive director of Rape Victim Advocates (RVA). RVA is a Chicago-area not-for-profit that serves victims of sexual assault.
Roskam is taking his wife Elizabeth, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Davis is also boycotting the president’s State of the Union, saying he “cannot in good conscience stand silently by and watch generations of struggle for equal rights, for civil, human and voting rights, for the rights of women, for social and economic justice be undone from the highest office in the land.”
Krishnamoorthi is bringing Tammy Adimi of Elgin, a spokesman for the congressman told the Chicago Tribune. Adimi now works for Zurich North America after completing an apprenticeship there, the Tribune reports.
Schakowsky will not be attending Tuesday’s State of the Union. According to a statement released by her office, the Congresswoman is boycotting the address in protest of “President Donald Trump and his loathsome language and actions.”
Schneider’s office invited Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim to the State of the Union, citing his work as an “an outspoken leader in his county’s efforts to directly tackle the opioid epidemic afflicting our entire nation.”
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Ana Campa Castillo, a resident of Bolingbrook and DACA recipient attending Joliet Junior College, will join Foster for the State of the Union. She is the Vice President of Latinos Unidos at her school and is pursuing an associates degree in psychology.
Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals baseball player who owns 500 acres of organic farmland in Macoupin County, will accompany Davis to the State of the Union.
U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman Alex Vandenberg of Sugar Grove will join Hultgren at the State of the Union address.
Kinzinger invited Rockford business-owner Patti Thayer, president and owner of Thayer Lighting, Inc.
Sarah Miller will join Bustos at the State of the Union. According to a press release from Bustos’ office, Miller was one of hundreds of families whom Bustos helped secure funding to replace water pipes contaminated with lead near their homes.