Ahead of President Trump’s State of the Union address later this month, Democrats are plotting ways to protest the event.
At least one Democratic lawmaker is planning to boycott the speech entirely, while others consider opting to skip the event as well. Just as Hollywood stars did at this past weekend’s Golen Globes, female Democrats including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will be wearing black to show solidarity with victims of sexual misconduct.
So far, Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer is the only Democrat who has announced that he won’t attend the State of the Union address.
“Instead, like I did during Trump’s Inauguration, I will be working here at home listening to Oregonians about what they think about the State of the Union,” Blumenauer said in a statement.
Members of the Democratic Women’s Working Group have been throwing around ideas for a coordinated effort, just as they wore white, the color of suffragettes, to Trump’s first joint address to Congress last year. The group decided to wear black following the Golden Globes on Sunday.
Female Democrats are hoping to bring the “Me too” conversation to the table through their display of solidarity in order to address sexual misconduct and women’s issues at the president’s State of the Union address on January 30.
Florida Representative Lois Frankel, chairwoman of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, revealed that she expects to gift her guest ticket in the House chamber gallery to someone involved in the “Me Too” movement, but hasn’t yet determined who to invite.
“What we want is to really continue the conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace, about disparity of salaries where people work in the same job, and also getting paid for the value of your work,” Frankel said.
Last month, female lawmakers led by Frankel called on Congress to launch an investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct against President Trump that surfaced during his 2016 campaign. Three of the numerous women who have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Trump have jointly demanded that lawmakers investigate the allegations.
Besides wearing white, Democrats protested Trump in a handful of other ways during his joint address to Congress last February.
New York Representative Eliot White delivered a speech on the House floor announcing that he wouldn’t be pursuing a prime seat along the center aisle to shake the president’s hand for the first time since he took office in 1989. Other Democrats sat along the center aisle but shrank away from Trump’s approach to avoid shaking his hand on national television.
Multiple Democrats invited young immigrants, those affected by Trump’s travel ban, and Spanish-American celebrity chef José Andrés, who withdrew plans for a restaurant in Trump’s Washington, D.C., to make political statements at the event.
Although most lawmakers haven’t yet decided who to invite as their guest this year, many are talking about bringing Dreamers, immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, in the midst of negotiations over how to protect them from deportation. Frankel has suggested that other members may bring gests associated with the “Me Too” movement.
H/T: The Hill