SCHUMER WILL BRING BUFFALO’S ZENETA EVERHART TO STATE OF THE UNION; SENATOR SAYS ZENETA EXEMPLIFIES THE UNBREAKABLE OF SPIRIT OF WESTERN NY – WITH HER ADVOCACY HELPING LEAD TO THE FIRST MAJOR BIPARTISAN GUN SAFETY LEGISLATION IN DECADES
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that he will bring Zeneta Everhart, as his guest to attend President Biden’s State of the Union address. Zeneta Everhart, the mother of Zaire Goodman, who was wounded but survived the horrific racially motivated mass shooting at the Tops supermarket in East Buffalo, gave an extremely powerful testimony before Congress and along with the other families helped break gridlock to pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first significant gun safety bill in nearly 30 years.
“I am proud to announce that Zeneta Everhart will be my guest to President Biden’s State of the Union address. She has been an incredible force for improving the lives of people in Western New York for over a decade. There is no one who embodies ‘Buffalo Strong’ more than Zeneta,” said Senator Schumer. “The bipartisan gun safety legislation we passed this past year would not be possible without the strength and resiliency from people like Zeneta, and the survivors of gun violence — families and advocates who turned their grief into powerful action and broke decades of congressional gridlock to finally pass commonsense gun safety laws. This long overdue and much needed step in the right direction has undoubtedly helped save lives.”
Schumer added, “From her career in public service to distributing thousands of books to children across WNY, Zeneta represents the best of the City of Good Neighbors and I am honored that she will join me at the State of the Union.”
“It is an honor to join Senator Schumer at the 2023 State of the Union. The heartbreaking massacre on 5/14 took the lives of 10 beautiful souls from our community and seriously injured three others. My son Zaire and the community has been through so much over the last nine months and it brings me great joy to represent Buffalo on such a national platform. Senator Schumer has been there in our corner since tragedy struck our family. Not only has he gone to work in Washington to push for stronger guns laws that will protect Zaire and everyone in the country, just nine days after the massacre he was in Buffalo to help Zaire celebrate his 21st birthday,” said Zeneta Everhart. “I am honored to be in attendance for such a momentous occasion, and look forward to hearing how President Biden plans to take this country into the future as a country that not only protects its citizens from the ills of the world; but also how the country will double down on being a place that is inclusive and welcoming to ALL of its citizens.”
Born and raised in Buffalo, Zeneta Everhart is a Kensington High School, Villa Marie College, and Canisius College graduate. Zeneta’s son, Zaire Goodman, was tragically injured during horrific May 14th Tops mass shooting. Schumer, along with President Biden, met with Zeneta and other family members shortly after the tragedy, pledging to work with them to bring about congressional action. Schumer continued to stay in close contact with the family, including joining them to celebrate Zaire’s 21st birthday just a week later. Later that year, Zeneta gave a powerful testimony before Congress and Schumer stood with her and other family members of the victims of the Buffalo mass shooting. This activism, building on years of work of others, helped finally lead to the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first significant gun safety bill in nearly 30 years.
Zeneta has a long history of advocacy within the Buffalo community. Along with her son, she started Zeneta and Zaire’s Book Club, a collection of children’s books about Black history and featuring Black characters, with the goal of distributing them to local schools and libraries. In only a few months, they have collected over 17,000 books; all housed at Zeneta’s alma mater Villa Maria, and have distributed over 2,000 to children across Western New York and beyond. Zeneta also founded the Single Moms Club of Buffalo in 2018, providing important information to local moms on community resources and helping engage with elected officials and government agencies.