Dawn Addis, a co-founder of Women’s March San Luis Obispo, attended President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night and found the speech to be “devastating” and “as a whole somewhat disappointing.”
Addis — who co-founded the march-turned-movement in January 2017 with Andrea Chmelik, Terry Parry, Pat Harris and Jen Ford — attended the president’s annual address to Congress as a guest of Rep. Salud Carbajal, who represents California’s 24th District.
Addis said Trump tried to “demonize our immigrant community” and failed to mention many hardworking people such as Neofita Valerio-Silva, a 47-year-old Grover Beach woman and mother of three American-born children who was deported to Mexico earlier this month.
“It was devastating to hear, once again, people like her being painted in that light of violent predators, when we know firsthand that they’re not,” Addis said.
Carbajal said in a written statement that Tuesday’s address was an opportunity for Trump to present his vision and legislative agenda to move the nation forward.
“Unfortunately, what we heard was more of the same rhetoric without substantive policy to back it,” Carbajal said. “Leadership requires finding common ground on the issues that unite us. I was disappointed that the president did not put forth proposals that have strong bipartisan support, from lowering the costs of healthcare to protecting Dreamers, and investing in renewable energy policy to grow jobs as we face increased automation in manufacturing.”
Addis thanked Carbajal for recognizing and working with many people on the Central Coast since Women’s March SLO was created more than one year ago.
“There’s much more to come,” Addis said. “We need people to stay engaged, to stay on their toes, to not let up. We’re heading into election season where we have an opportunity to really change the course of our nation, so it’s important that people dig deep and continue to move forward and stay engaged with us.”