Rep. Wilson skips SOTU, criticizes Trump at Overtown watch party

MIAMI (WSVN) - U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, one of 14 Congressional Democrats who chose not to attend Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, watched the event alongside her constituents in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood and also delivered some pointed remarks aimed at President Donald Trump.

The sanctuary at the historic Greater Bethel AME Church was filled not for the weekly sermon but for the presidential speech. People from all walks of life, from within Florida’s 21st Congressional District and beyond, sat in silence and watched the commander in chief.

7News cameras captured Wilson, wearing her trademark cowboy hat, sitting in the crowd during the address.

For all the talk of unity in Trump’s speech, the congresswoman said, the president has made too many negative remarks targeting the very people she represents.

“You don’t disparage the Haitian-Americans. You don’t disparage the Africans. You don’t disparage the African-Americans,” she said as she addressed the audience at Greater Bethel. “You don’t disparage the Dreamers. You don’t disparage the women. You don’t disparage the Muslims. You bring everyone together as one.”

Fourteen Democrats, from Oregon to Georgia, also decided not to attend the address.

Wilson showed solidarity with her party by wearing all black as a show of support for the (hash)metoo movement.

The congresswoman was one of the first to announce her intention to skip the speech. When members of her district learned that, they arranged the prayer vigil and watch party to show their support of Wilson.

When asked whether she likens joining her constituents at the watch party to bringing one guest to the State of the Union address, Wilson replied, “Yes, now I have many, many guests.”

Wilson also had a message to deliver to those who tuned in to watch Trump address the nation. “To know that my immigrant-rich community stands with me, and we’re proving to America that this is what democracy looks like,” she said.

The congresswoman will remain in South Florida for the rest of the week and plans to return to Washington, D.C. on Monday. She said she is determined to continue working across the aisle with Republicans.

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