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Women to Boycott State of the Union, Hold Separate Event

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., will be among the speakers at an alternate event to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., will be among the speakers at an alternate event to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
January 30, 2018

SEATTLE – While President Donald Trump addresses Congress tonight in his first State of the Union speech, women will be holding their own State of the Union event.

Groups representing sexual-assault survivors, mothers, communities of color and many more are gathering at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., for the "State of Our Union" – to address gender inequality and offer an alternate vision of the future.

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director of the Washington-state-based group Moms Rising, will speak at the event. She said women from all walks of life will be speaking and attending.

"What we love about it is that this event is as diverse as our nation is right now," said Rowe-Finkbeiner. "It carries the strength of the generations who have come before us, those who raised us; and it is fueled by the hope of those who will come after us."

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., who is boycotting Trump's State of the Union, will also speak.

Event hosts include the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the National Farmworker Women's Alliance, as well as the founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke. It will be livestreamed at thestateofourunion.org at 5 p.m. Pacific time.

Rowe-Finkbeiner is convinced that going into this event, women are riding the momentum of this year's Women's March, which took place in cities across the country 10 days ago. And she sees women becoming more politically active.

"We've seen an unprecedented number of women file to run for major political offices - more than 500 women filing for major political offices," she said, "and we see women taking a tremendous amount of actions, making phone calls, raising their voices and being part of our democracy."

Other Democratic leaders have said they will boycott, or finding other ways to protest the State of the Union address.

Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell is bringing Maru Mora Villalpando, a local immigration activist who faces deportation, to Trump's address.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA