Donald Trump

MSD Parents, Survivor to Attend State of the Union Address Tuesday

When President Donald Trump delivers his annual State of The Union address on Tuesday, several members of the Parkland community directly affected by the shooting inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School nearly one year ago will be in attendance thanks to politicians on both side of the aisle.

One of Florida’s two Republican member of the U.S. Senate, Rick Scott announced Monday he's bringing Andrew Pollack to the speech. Pollack's daughter, Meadow, was one of 17 people killed last Valentine's Day.

Pollack appeared in ads for Scott during his Senate campaign and has also praised Trump during a White House visit. Just before Scott left the governor's office in January, he appointed Pollack to the Florida's education board - but current Gov. Ron DeSantis rescinded dozens of Scott's last minute appointments including Pollack's.

Also on Monday, Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch announced he was inviting Manny Oliver – the father of shooting victim Joaquin – as his guest for the speech in an effort to persuade Trump to “support meaningful policies to make our communities safer.”

“It’s an opportunity to listen from a first row, to listen to what’s going on, to see their faces and more than that for them to see us getting involved," Oliver said told NBC 6's Steve Litz.

Oliver founded an organization called 'Change The Ref' dedicated to empowering kids and young adults to prevent gun violence through education, activism and communication.

Joining Pollack and Oliver on Tuesday will be Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie was killed in the shooting and will be the guest of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Student activist Cameron Kasky, who co-founded the group Never Again MSD, will be the guest of Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California.

"I can't escape that I'm supposed to be home with my complete family, watching it on a couch," Guttenberg said when leaving Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday. "I'm hopeful and optimistic."

Oliver is looking for Trump to address gun violence, something the father calls a naitonal epidemic.

“I believe and hope that might be part of the message,” said Oliver. “And if not I’m going to make sure I’ll bring it after the message.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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