Hadiya Pendleton's Mother to be Schneider's Guest at State of the Union

Hadiya, 15, was a Chicago honors student who was shot and killed last month. Schneider invited her mother as his guest. She will now be sitting, along with Hadiya's father, with Michelle Obama during the president's speech.

Chicago shooting victim Hadiya Pendleton's mother will be Congressman Brad Schneider's guest at Tuesday's State of the Union Address, according to his office.

Hadiya, 15, an honors student at King College Prep in Chicago, was gunned down in a park last month about a mile from President Obama's Kenwood home. She had recently returned from his inauguration, where she had performed with her school band.

Schneider invited her mother, Cleopatra Cowley, to attend Tuesday's State of the Union Address last week. The Chicago Tribune reported Monday that Cowley and Hadiya's father, Nathaniel A. Pendleton, will sit with First Lady Michelle Obama during the speech.

Regardless of the seating arrangements, Cowley will be there as Schneider's guest, explained his spokeswoman Staci McCabe. 

“I am honored and humbled to be able to have Cleopatra Cowley, Hadiya’s mother, join us at the State of the Union address," Schneider said in a statement to Patch. "Her voice is a powerful and tragic new one joining the chorus of concerned citizens calling for sensible action to reduce gun violence in the future. Our hearts were broken by the sudden and tragic passing of Hadiya Pendleton. As a nation we can’t continue to watch as members of our community—children—are being killed day after day.” 

Michelle Obama was one of the many city, state and national dignitaries who attended Hadiya's funeral this weekend. Her death has come to symbolize the cost of gun violence for many.

The president will use the State of the Union address to press for new gun control measures, the Tribune reports. 

Neighboring Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky announced last week that Evanston resident Carolyn Murray—whose 19-year-old son, Justin, was fatally shot in November—will be her guest of honor at the State of the Union Address.

McCloud February 12, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Probably like 49% of the electorate. Pathetic? Ask the ambassador's family.
Abigail February 12, 2013 at 04:52 PM
McCloud, Sully and other like him on the left don't get it. Trying to get through to them is like beating a dead horse--they never understand. They accused President GW Bush of wanting to take away their rights, but don't see the similarities with Obama wanting to take our gun rights. They are the ones who are pathetic.
Sully February 12, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Preach it to the choir, hun. I do so hope you continue to enjoy your bitterness. That's about all you've got. Now, I must get back to planning how I'm going to help Barack turn the U.S. into a communist Muslim state.
NotWastingTime February 12, 2013 at 05:03 PM
You think the 27 killed at Sandy Hook "get it"?
Abigail February 12, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Don't be an idiot, NotWastingTime. The last thing we need in this nation is our gov't taking away our right to bear arms--because they WON'T be able to take the guns away from all of the criminals. The person who killed the children at Newtown had mental problems and never should have had access to guns. The people who killed Hadiya were gang-bangers with illegal guns. I am not a gang-banger nor do I have mental issues. I want to keep my right to own my firearms.
NotWastingTime February 12, 2013 at 05:39 PM
NOBODY is suggesting that the right to bear arms be taken away.
Meshephelous February 12, 2013 at 05:59 PM
I'm making money. What's your excuse?
Steve S. February 12, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Whether or not you have mental issues and should have access to firearms is still up for debate.
McCloud February 12, 2013 at 06:58 PM
What are you suggesting?
McCloud February 12, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Let me give you guys a preliminary, the economy is in full recovery, we don't have a spending problem, those rich guys are evil so we need to increase revenues (aka raise taxes on everyone), still haven't heard from that guy Ben Gazzi, we need to invest more in food stamps, welfare and oh education (always a good one), and green energy (aka my friends who pay for all the elections).
Sully February 12, 2013 at 07:38 PM
Why are we even having this debate? According to you true patriots, Obama should have confiscated all the guns by now anyway, and you should be locked up in internment camps somewhere in the southwest. We should be under Sharia law, and Obama should now be the dictator/king of the new America. Older people should be being killed off, and our youth should have been drafted into something like the Brownshirts. Oh yeah- it never happened, did it? Hmm.
Vicky Kujawa February 12, 2013 at 07:45 PM
"Never let a good crisis go to waste." - Rahm Emanuel. These people are beyond despicable.
Vicky Kujawa February 12, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Correct, Sully; and I and many others will see to it that it NEVER will. :)
Vicky Kujawa February 12, 2013 at 07:59 PM
BTW is Congressman Schneider inviting the families of the other 500+ people that got murdered in the Liberal hellhole Chicago in the past 12 months.....?
NotWastingTime February 12, 2013 at 08:48 PM
And how many of those 500+ were killed by guns? Jeez, you think maybe some of them may still be alive if wasn't so easy to get guns?
Sully February 12, 2013 at 09:00 PM
I knew someone was bound to take credit for that. Do you really think you could stop it if Obama really wanted to do those things? Think about it. If thinking that you and the grand armed patriots are all that keeps this country from falling to the Muslim Brotherhood makes you feel safe, then by all means, play toy soldiers to your heart's content. But if you are going to play toy soldiers, couldn't you use toy guns as well so the rest of civilized society doesn't have to continue seeing our citizens massacred by military type weapons?
Brian L. February 12, 2013 at 09:33 PM
If it was much harder to get guns and we had even one less murder for that reason, shouldn't that be enough? Again. I said much harder, not impossible. You could still have your gun and possibly pass the tests to carry and that may also prevent some deaths. Granted not in the inner cities where more guns hasn't really helped anything, but you might prevent a killing nonetheless.
Sully February 12, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Even most republicans believe in background checks. What right is being taken away by going through a check before getting a gun?
Sully February 12, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Off the subject, but this is classic- From Conservapedia: "A liberal is someone who favors censorship of Christianity as well as increased government spending, power, and control, as in ObamaCare. Increasingly, liberals side with the homosexual agenda, including supporting homosexual "marriage". Many liberals favor a welfare state where people receive endless entitlements without working. Liberals are often anti-Christian, or otherwise disagree with moral or social principles held by many American Christians. The liberal ideology has worsened over the years and degenerated into economically unsound views and intolerant ideology. Some liberals simply support, in knee-jerk fashion, the opposite of conservative principles without having any meaningful values of their own." That is really really good! But here's a more accurate definition: (from Wikipedia, and minus the political agenda) "Liberalism (from the Latin liberalis)[1] is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality.[2] Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas such as free and fair elections, civil rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free trade, and private property.[3][4][5][6][7]" Your definition is much funnier though!
Sully February 12, 2013 at 09:55 PM
I posted this because all of you seem to think the word "liberal" is a derogatory term. You use it with contempt. That shows your ignorance more than anything else. Okay, back to the topic. Please continue.
Silvio Dante February 12, 2013 at 11:12 PM
Figure out this "War on Drugs" and you will eliminate 80% of all gun violence and murders. ...This should be the debate...Not the right to bear arms. When dealing heroin and cocaine is the family business, and going to jail is the equivalent of our kids going to college, you must do something about the issue before every major city turns into a battlefield with civilians getting in the way of bullets meant for rival gangs or crews. Exactly what Chicago has transformed into. Of course, calling the War on Drugs a war makes no sense as wars end. This national, and local, debacle only continues. Hundreds of billions wasted and countless innocent lives lost.
Sully February 12, 2013 at 11:34 PM
Agreed Frank. Once again it comes down to the failure of the social system to reach these kids before it's too late. Gangs aren't just about drugs. They offer a sense of belonging to youth who feel disconnected from society. The camaraderie brings the kids in, while the drugs either make them money if they sell, or put them in an alternate reality if they use. The ability to get guns so easily gives them a false sense of security. It's easy to forget that no matter how long they've been on the street or on their own, they're still kids. It's even easier for some people not only to forget they're kids, but to forget they are human. I expect the typical reaction from those on the other side of the aisle. Go for it.
Silvio Dante February 13, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Sully, we agree. As long as the family business in these neighborhoods is drug dealing, and the value of the real estate they control, there will be this senseless gun violence. This is the public policy issue that must be addressed. But, our leaders would rather us focus on the guns because the public policy issue of the War on Drugs is just too damaging politically to anyone in office. No one wants to touch that issue as they are afraid of never getting reelected. So, our leaders treat us like the pawns we are and get us all crazy about guns. Of course, never trying to solve the true problem that will solve a majority of this gun violence issue.
Silvio Dante February 13, 2013 at 12:03 AM
Great point McCloud.
Ed60062 February 13, 2013 at 12:29 AM
The "true problem" is so complex it cannot be solved in the foreseeable future. It involves culture, work ethics, government giveaway programs, education, family life, drugs, local power, local economics, discrimination, and probably more--not to mention that many don't want things to change. The "war on guns" will be no more successful than was Prohibition, the war on drugs, or border control.
Silvio Dante February 13, 2013 at 01:10 AM
Agree 95% Ed...Yet, I do not think that any problem is too complex to be solved. It will take leadership and political courage to find a solution. Of course, that is something lacking in our nation on both sides of the aisle. You are right, it cannot be solved. lol Agree also that the upcoming "war on guns" will also prove a failure and just another thing that will divide us as a nation. The Chinese, along with the rest of the world, are laughing at us.
Sully February 13, 2013 at 05:13 AM
I tend to agree with both of you. The individual issues alone will never change as long as there is no cooperation in Washington, and when added up and put together, the combined problem will take generations to fix. Money is power and those that have the power don't care one bit about what happens to the rest of the country. Social Issues are not important to these people because they don't live in the same world. Mitt Romney was possibly the most out of touch presidential candidate this country has ever seen. As long as money controls, nothing will change. The partisan divide will get bigger and those at the top will watch and laugh as those below them fight each other and ignore those who are really responsible for the country's downfall.
Vicky Kujawa February 13, 2013 at 05:31 AM
Jeez, I am certain that those 500+ murders in Chicago last year were committed with legally obtained firearms owned by FOID card carriers........
Vicky Kujawa February 13, 2013 at 05:32 AM
....and Obama is 'in touch'? LMAO!
Sully February 13, 2013 at 11:48 AM
Wow, I never would have predicted that response, Vicky. You're just so clever.


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