Schumer, Pelosi Announce Democratic Responses to President Trump’s State of the Union Address

January 25, 2018

Congressman Joe Kennedy III Will Lead Response; First Hispanic Female Immigrant Elected to Virginia House Delegate Elizabeth Guzman Will Deliver Democrats’ Spanish Language Response

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi today announced that Congressman Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts will deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s joint address to Congress next week.  Leaders Pelosi and Schumer also announced that Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzman will deliver the Spanish-language response to the speech.  Delegate Guzman is a respected civic leader whose values-based message propelled her to victory in the recent Virginia elections, making her the first Hispanic female immigrant elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.

“Congressman Kennedy is a relentless fighter for working Americans,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.  “While President Trump has consistently broken his promises to the middle class, Congressman Kennedy profoundly understands the challenges facing hard-working men and women across the country.  His leadership has been vital in educating a next-generation workforce, in creating good-paying manufacturing jobs and in expanding opportunities for the middle class.”  

“We are also proud to have the Democrats’ Spanish-language response delivered by Delegate Elizabeth Guzman of Virginia, a respected advocate and community leader who represents the best of our nation’s ideals,” Pelosi continued.  “Driven by her faith and her belief in the promise of the American Dream, Elizabeth has been a vital, relentless leader for the voiceless.”

“Whether it’s the repeated attempts to dismantle our health care system, jamming through tax cuts for the largest corporations and the wealthiest or repealing protections for consumers, women and the most vulnerable Americans, President Trump’s first year has been marred by his broken promises to the middle class,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.  “In their responses to the President’s address, Congressman Kennedy and Virginia Delegate Guzman will both do an excellent job in making clear that Democrats are laser-focused on enacting policies to benefit middle class Americans, not special interests or the wealthiest.”

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Currently serving his third term, Congressman Joe Kennedy III, 38, has emerged as a powerful voice for social and economic justice.  Joe has championed affordable health care, vocational education, a livable minimum wage and American manufacturing.  As a member of the influential House Energy & Commerce Committee, Kennedy has been a leader on issues that range from mental health and addiction to medical research and rising energy costs.  His opposition to President Trump’s health care plan garnered national attention, as have his efforts to reform this country’s badly broken mental health system.  In Congress, he is a leading voice for LGBTQ equality, voting rights, civil rights and immigration reform.  Prior to serving in Congress, Kennedy was an Assistant District Attorney in Massachusetts and a member of the Peace Corps in Latin America.  He received his undergraduate degree in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University and his law degree from Harvard.  He is married to Lauren Birchfield Kennedy, a health policy expert.  They live with their children, Eleanor and James, in Newton, Massachusetts.

Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzman, 44, came to the United States from Peru, looking for a better future for her oldest daughter.  Through her love of learning, hard work and dedication, Guzman persevered through economic hardship and obtained her degree in Office Administration and Management from Northern Virginia Community College, while working three jobs.  Guzman then obtained a Bachelor's in Public Safety from Capella University, a Master's in Public Administration from American University and a Master's in Social Work from the University of Southern California.  Today, in addition to representing Prince William and Fauquier Counties as a Delegate, Elizabeth is a Court Appointed Service Advocate.  Guzman works as a Division Chief for Administrative Services for the Center for Adult Services in the Department of Community and Human Services for the City of Alexandria, providing programs and aging and support services for persons with mental illnesses, intellectual disabilities and substance use disorders.  Guzman is a member of AFSCME Local 3001.  She is the first Hispanic female immigrant to be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.  She is married to Carlos Guzman, a small business owner.  They live with their children Pamela, Ivanna, Carlos and Hannah in Dale City, Virginia.