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Philadelphia-area guests to attend State of the Union address

Delaware Valley local heroes set to attend President Biden's State of the Union address Tuesday even
Delaware Valley local heroes set to attend President Biden's State of the Union address Tuesday even 01:54

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- President Joe Biden will deliver his State of the Union address in front of a joint session of Congress Tuesday evening. This will be Biden's second address as president and first speech to Congress since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives. 

The speech will begin at 9 p.m. and will be streamed online on the CBS News streaming network.  

Biden says he wants the address to be a "conversation with the American people." It will give the public a preview of what his agenda will be for the coming year and is expected to cover issues including the economy, climate, gun violence, policing, opioids, immigration, the war in Ukraine and China.

According to a new CBS poll, the majority of respondents who plan to watch the State of the Union say it's important for Biden to discuss the economy, inflation and immigration. 49% of those respondents also say the effects of Biden's policies are making their family's finances worse.

Eleven people from our region have been invited by lawmakers as guests to Tuesday evening's address. 


The White House recently released its guest list for First Lady Jill Biden's viewing box which will feature Mitzi Colin Lopez from West Chester. 

Lopez is described as a DREAMer and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient. She was brought to the United States from Mexico by her parents at 3 years old. The White House says Lopez graduated Summa Cum Laude from West Chester University and is an immigration advocate. 

Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman has invited a Philadelphia man he helped free from prison who served 28 years for a wrongful conviction. Fetterman says Dennis "Freedom" Horton and his brother's sentences were lifted in 2021 when he chaired the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons. 

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick will bring Bucks County resident and cancer survivor Sara Harvey. Harvey collaborated with the Neshaminy School District to raise $4,000 to help combat childhood cancer. 

Rep. Dwight Evans will host Philadelphia housing leader Stefanie Seldin. Seldin is the President & CEO of Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, a non-profit that helps to make vulnerable owner-occupied homes safe, healthy and energy-efficient.

An invitation was also extended to Chris Deshields. He's the heroic SEPTA bus driver who just last month helped save a woman from being carjacked.    

Rep. Madeleine Dean has invited Kelsey Leigh, a Pennsylvania abortion advocate from the Lehigh Valley. 

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon will be joined by Randy Butler, a Philadelphia youth basketball leader. Butler is the Director of Program Operations & Impact at Philadelphia Youth Basketball. The program helps to empower and serve underserved communities in Pennsylvania's 5th district. 

Rep. Susan Wild will bring the surviving family of fallen New Tripoli Volunteer Firefighter Marvin Gruber. Gruber and his partner were killed while responding to a fire in Schuylkill County at the end of last month. Gruber's son, Nick Gruber, and wife, Natalie Gruber, will be in attendance.


Delaware Sen. Tom Carper will be joined by Lolita Lopez, CEO of Westside Family Healthcare. Lopez leads the center's work in providing health care services to vulnerable, uninsured individuals to more than 28,000 Delawareans in New Castle and Kent Counties.   

New Jersey

New Jersey Rep. Donald Norcross will bring union leader Charles Wowkanech. Wowkanech is the President of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO where he leads the union's one million members and their families across the state. 

Rep. Andy Kim will host Marta Nelson, a woman from Southampton who has benefitted from slashed insulin costs due to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which Kim supported.  

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