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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 3, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 09
Sen. Patty Murray invites Trans activists to attend Trump speech

Rep. Jayapal invites Muslim leader
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Sen. Patty Murray invites Trans activists to attend Trump speech

Rep. Jayapal invites Muslim leader

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

US Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Pramila Jayapal used the occasion of Donald Trump's first speech to Congress to make visible statements of opposition to his policies.

As her guests at the event, Murray invited Seattle Transgender activists Marci Owens and Danni Askini. Jayapal brought local Muslim leader Aneelah Afzali.

Although only 18, Owens is a veteran health care activist. At 7, before her transition, she testified at Congressional hearings on the Affordable Care Act and stood next to President Obama as he signed the measure into law.

'She is one of the many people in Washington state and across the country who are being targeted and hurt by President Trump's divisive and harmful agenda,' Murray said in a statement, 'and she is someone I am proud to fight for and make sure has a voice here in Washington, DC. She, and millions of others across the country, are standing up, speaking out, and fighting back - and I am proud to have her by my side.'

Murray also invited Danni Askini, one of the founders and the current executive director of Gender Justice League and Trans Pride Seattle, to attend Trump's address.

Aneelah Afzali is executive director of the American Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN), an initiative of the Redmond-based Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS).

'Aneelah's story is the American story,' Jayapal said. 'A Muslim-American woman of color, Aneelah has devoted her life to fighting for justice and equality. The president's policies marginalize entire communities and target people like Aneelah for their race and religious beliefs.'

After Trump's speech, both Murray and Jayapal reacted with anger.

'President Trump has been in office for just over a month, and he has already broken the promises he's made to put workers and the middle class first while doing exactly what he said he would do to divide our country, cause chaos and dysfunction across our government and in our communities, and help millionaires and billionaires like himself,' Murray said in a post-speech statement.

'The speech President Trump gave tonight was a clear indication that he plans to continue making empty promises while doubling down on policies and a budget that would hurt families, students, the economy, and our national security.'

Jayapal added that 'the president's rhetoric did not match reality. He said things that sounded good, but they were the opposite of his actions and rhetoric of the past.

'He repeated falsehoods about immigrants to justify the logic behind his inhumane and barbaric executive orders that have thrown our immigration system into complete and utter chaos. Instead of offering specifics and a plan to expand health care for all, President Trump, once again, called for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, leaving millions without health insurance. He talked about tax relief for the middle class, but the Trump tax plan is nothing more than a big tax break for the rich. He mentioned reducing poverty, but in fact his budget blueprint would decimate the very social safety net programs that help people climb out of poverty.'

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