Progressive groups and public figures who have spent the past year opposing President Donald Trump and GOP policies have organized a "People's State of the Union" event for Monday night, a day before the president's planned address to Congress.
"In essence, it's a better reflection of our state of the union based on a more populist point of view, based on the people's point of view."
—Mark Ruffalo, actor and activist
"The #PeoplesSOTU will celebrate the remarkable growth and success of the Resistance Movement and outline a plan of action for the coming year—focusing on voter rights, voter registration, and voter turnout" ahead of the midterm election in November, according to the Facebook event.
"In essence, it's a better reflection of our state of the union based on a more populist point of view, based on the people's point of view," Mark Ruffalo, one of the celebrity attendees, told People magazine. "I think it's important because we have a president who has a difficult time with the truth, who has a radical, divisive agenda, and spends an enormous amount of time focusing on the negative and hopelessness and despair."
Several other Hollywood stars plan to participate, including Lee Daniels, John Leguizamo, Michael Moore, Rosie Perez, and Wanda Sykes. Musical artists Andra Day and Common will perform their song "Stand Up for Something" from the film Marshall.
Representatives of the progressive groups United We Dream, Planned Parenthood, Indivisible, and 350.org will also attend the People's SOTU, which is being hosted by MoveOn.org, Food & Water Watch, CREDO Mobile, and the new We Stand United Campaign.
Julia Walsh, the campaign director for We Stand United, told People the event "is a celebration and a look back on this resistance movement for the past year," but also an opportunity "to look ahead."
"This night is meant to be inspiring and empowering to all the people across this country that care about the state of this country and want to see it change."
—Julia Walsh, We Stand United
"This night is meant to be inspiring and empowering to all the people across this country that care about the state of this country and want to see it change," Walsh added. "We're all going to work together across all different movements to make sure that we win back Congress in 2018 and hold this president in check."
The People's State of the Union will be held at The Town Hall in New York City at 8pm on Monday and livestreamed at peoplessotu.org.
Trump will deliver his first State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Jan. 30. He last addressed the full Congress in February 2017, shortly after taking office.