Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty released the following statement regarding President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech tonight:
"Tonight, the President laid out a compelling vision for our future and spoke to the issues that are vital to rebuilding a rising, thriving middle class in central and northwest Connecticut -- proposals that include reinvigorating manufacturing, making needed investments in our infrastructure, in a clean energy future, and in education. These are measures that I applaud and will be working with the President and my colleagues in Congress to help move forward.
"The President's address was also particularly meaningful for our state and for the community of Newtown. Tonight, people affected by gun violence, including several from Newtown, helped give a face to the cost of political inaction. Among them -- talented and courageous educators like Natalie Hammond and Kaitlin Roig, heroic leaders like Pat Llodra, brave first responders like Daniel McAnaspie and Jason Frank, loving parents like Chris and Lynn McDonnell and siblings like Carlos Soto, and so many others served as an inspiration to our country -- to the courage of everyday Americans and to our need and our potential to do better as a country.
"I was moved by President Obama's call for real and meaningful change to save lives in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, and I'm grateful to President Obama and Vice-President Biden for the care and support they have shown the Newtown community. Tonight was a reminder that, even in the face of great difficulty and political opposition, we must not lose our will to fight for commonsense, comprehensive reforms to reduce gun violence. I stand ready to move forward, with our President, with my colleagues in Congress, with my constituents in Connecticut, and with Americans everywhere who are making their voices heard and standing up for commonsense, comprehensive reforms to make our communities safer and to save lives across the country."
Esty participated in an effort, spearheaded by Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin, to invite people affected by gun violence as guests at the State of the Union. Esty's guest was Natalie Hammond, lead teacher at Sandy Hook elementary, who was wounded in the Newtown shooting on December 14, 2012.