A picture of Representative Janice Hahn
Janice H.
Democrat CA 44

About Rep. Janice
  • The State of the Union’s Empty Seat

    by Representative Janice Hahn

    Posted on 2016-01-12

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    HAHN asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.) Ms. HAHN. Mr. Speaker, tonight, for the first time, there will be one empty seat in our First Lady's box for the State of the Union Address. One seat will be left open next to Ryan Reyes, whose boyfriend, Daniel Kaufman, was shot and killed in the recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino. That open seat will represent Daniel and all of the Americans who have lost their lives to gun violence.

    Tonight, when I look at that empty chair, I am going to be thinking about Mary Matsumoto, a 72-year-old woman who was shot and killed in San Pedro last January; Armando Bejar, a 15-year-old boy who was shot and killed in Compton in September; Lucille Wills, a 74-year-old woman who was shot and killed in Carson in April; Emmanuel Sosa, an 18-year- old young man who was shot and killed in Wilmington, California, in June.

    That seat will represent the 436 people who have been shot and killed in just Los Angeles County alone since the last State of the Union. Heartbreakingly, if we were to save empty seats for each one of those victims, every seat on the House floor tonight would be empty.


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