Los Angeles Politics

Who are the most interesting guests at the State of the Union?

At 9 p.m. tonight, President Biden will appear before a joint session of Congress to deliver his second State of the Union address.

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) formally invited Biden to deliver the speech. The first lady, Supreme Court justices, almost all senators and representatives, most of the Cabinet, the vice president and her spouse and numerous reporters usually attend the address.

Lawmakers and party leaders also invite members of the public to attend as their guest.

Here are some of the most interesting guests scheduled to attend:

Brandon Tsay

Brandon Tsay, 26, left, was awarded a medal of courage from the Alhambra Police Department by the Chief of Police Chief Kelley Fraser on Jan. 29.

(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

San Marino resident Brandon Tsay received national recognition last month after preventing deaths by disarming the Monterey Park shooter. In Alhambra, the same gunman killed 11 and injured 10. Tsay will sit with Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff and First Lady Jill Biden in the viewing box.

RowVaughn and Rodney Wells

A woman with shoulder-length black hair tilting her head and gaze upward. A man in a cap stands behind her.

RowVaughn Wells, whose son Tyre Nichols died after being beaten by Memphis police officers, is comforted by Tyre’s stepfather, Rodney Wells, at a news conference on Jan. 27.

(Gerald Herbert / Associated Press)

The Memphis couple became national figures after Memphis police brutally beat their son, Tyre Nichols. The 29-year-old Black man died days after the bludgeoning. The five officers, who were fired by the Police Department, face murder charges and could serve up to 60 years in prison if convicted. Vice President Kamala Harris attended Nichols’ funeral last week in Memphis and commended the couple for their bravery, strength, courage and grace in the face of their grief. Nichols’ mother and stepfather will sit with the second gentleman and first lady in the viewing box.

Paul Pelosi

Paul Pelosi, wearing a suit and a hat sits on a row of chairs inside a tall room with stone columns

Paul Pelosi, husband of the former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, sits waiting following a portrait unveiling ceremony for her in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building in December.

(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Paul Pelosi, husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), has been a fixture in California political life for decades. He reemerged late last year after surviving an assault at their Pacific Heights home. The alleged assailant is said to be a believer in QAnon, a political movement that subscribes to an unfounded antisemitic conspiracy theory that alleges that former President Trump is fighting a secret war against Satan-worshiping Democratic elites who run a child sex ring. Pelosi will sit with the second gentleman and first lady in the viewing box.

Enes Freedom

A head-and shoulders view of a dark-haired man in a white tank top holding a basketball in both of his hands and looking up.

Boston Celtics’ Enes Freedom before an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, in January 2022, in Boston.

(Michael Dwyer / Associated Press)

The former athlete made national headlines in recent years for criticizing the NBA’s ties with the Chinese Communist Party. He is attending the address as a guest of McCarthy. “Here’s a man who stood up for freedom, lost his right to continue to play basketball, but he continues to fight,” the Bakersfield Republican told reporters on Monday.

Alexis Muro

Former Long Beach Mayor and U.S. Rep. Robert Garcia invited Muro, an undocumented college student hoping to work in healthcare, as his guest. In a statement, he said she a “is a great example of how important it is to support immigrant communities and create pathways to citizenship.”

He added: “Hardworking students in our country deserve the same shot at the American Dream that was given to me.”

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