Cleopatra Pendleton had a front-row seat at President Obama’s State of the Union address, but she likely wishes she would have been watching from her home in Chicago.
Obama invited Pendleton, whose 15-year-old daughter was slain in a random shooting in Chicago just days after performing for Obama at the inauguration. Michelle Obama invited both parents of Hadiya Pendleton to the address on Tuesday night after traveling to Chicago to attend the girl’s funeral over the weekend.
Hadiya Pendeleton‘s father, Nathaniel Pendleton, confirmed to DNAinfo that he would be at the State of the Union as well.
The address is not the only business in Washington for Cleopatra Pendleton, The Huffington Post reported. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois had invited her to attend a Senate hearing on gun safety.
Hadiya Pendleton’s slaying took center stage of a gun violence debate that has emerged since the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Since then, Obama has used the bully pulpit in a campaign against gun violence.
Obama was expected to make this a central point in his State of the Union address, and his Organizing for America has already planned a “national day of action” focused on anti-gun violence initiatives on February 22. Obama will make another trip to his hometown of Chicago on Friday to follow up his State of the Union speech, talking about the violence epidemic that has swept the city.
There was no word if Cleopatra Pendleton would be involved.