First lady Jill Biden is bringing five guests virtually to President Joe Biden’s first joint address to Congress Wednesday, among them being a gun violence prevention advocate and a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient.
Usually, first ladies invite guests in-person to watch presidential addresses in the Capitol, but amid the coronavirus pandemic, attendance has been limited to 200 lawmakers, Biden administration officials and staff.
All five of the first lady’s guests will “personify some of the issues or policies that will be addressed by the President in his speech,” according to a release, suggesting Biden will touch on immigration, the coronavirus pandemic, gun laws, education, LGBTQ issues, racial justice and broadband access. During the address Wednesday night, Biden will unveil his broad “American Families Plan.”
One guest, Javier Quiroz Castro, is a nurse in Houston "on the frontlines of the pandemic" and a DACA recipient. His parents brought him to the U.S. when he was 3 years old. Another guest, Stella Keating, 16, became the first transgender teen to testify in the Senate when she did so earlier this year on the Equality Act, a sweeping LGBT rights bill the House passed in February.
Tatiana Washington, a gun violence prevention advocate and executive director of a youth-led gun violence prevention organization, 50 Miles More, will also attend virtually. She has also taken part in the Wisconsin Black Lives Matter Movement, according to a release from the White House.
The other guests invited are Maria-Isabel Ballivian, the executive director of a child development center serving at-risk youth in Virginia, and Theron Rutyna, who has been working to add broadband access in largely rural Tribal communities in Wisconsin.