WASHINGTON (CBS SF) – Sen. Kamala Harris announced she would bring a Californian impacted by both the government shutdown and recent wildfires to next week’s State of the Union Address.
Harris is inviting Trisha Pesiri-Dybvik, an air traffic controller from Southern California. Pesiri-Dybvik and her husband, who is also an air traffic controller, both went without paychecks during the 35-day shutdown, the longest in U.S. history.
The family also lost their home in 2017, when the Thomas Fire tore through Ventura County.
“As my family and I have begun to rebuild after losing our home in the Thomas Fire, the hardship we faced during the government shutdown—and the looming uncertainty of another potential shutdown—have added a further layer of stress to our already challenging situation,” Pesiri-Dybvik said in a statement from Harris’ office.
“Trisha’s story is just one of many stories I heard during the shutdown of Americans whose lives were upended and who faced those difficult days with strength and resilience,” the senator said. “Washington needs to hear her story and avoid another harmful shutdown.”
Harris, one of several candidates seeking the Democratic nomination, kicked off her campaign in Oakland last weekend.
The State of the Union, which was delayed by a week due to the shutdown, will be delivered by President Donald Trump Tuesday night.