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President To Talk Economy, Gun Violence In Chicago Friday

By aaroncynic in News on Feb 11, 2013 4:30PM

President Barack Obama holds a meeting in the Situation Room of the White House, Dec. 7, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama will visit Chicago on Friday as part of a series of trips to highlight issues he plans to raise in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday. According to the Chicago Tribune, a White House official said:

“The president will travel to Chicago for an event amplifying some of the policy proposals included in the State of the Union that focus on strengthening the economy for the middle class and the Americans striving to get there.”

Coming on the heels of the funeral of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed just after performing at the President's inauguration ceremony, it's also expected Obama will address the rampant gun violence his hometown has faced. The White House official stated, “He’ll of course also talk about the gun violence that has tragically affected too many families in communities across Chicago and across the country.” LaKeisha Stewart, godmother of Hadiya, told the Tribune, “Any awareness that can be brought to this issue that can prevent any family from ever feeling the pain that we as a family have felt. . .is awesome.”

First Lady Michelle Obama attended Hadiya's funeral, along with Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The First Lady met with Pendleton's family just prior to her funeral, reports DNAinfo. Kalyn Jones, a sophomore at King College Prep who also spoke at the funeral said "She was trying to give us encouragement, things to be looking forward to…going to college, making something of ourselves."

Last year saw more than 500 people killed in the streets of Chicago and last month another 42 were murdered.

The visit from the president will be the third and last he makes after the State of the Union address, with stops in Asheville, N.C., on Wednesday and Atlanta on Thursday. CNN reports administration officials said Obama would renew his support in Tuesday's address to the nation for gun control proposals he's already endorsed.