Press Releases

Hoyer Announces State of the Union Guests

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) announced today that he will bring Fifth District resident Starr Barbour and health care advocate Vincent "Vinny" DeMarco as his guests to President Trump's State of the Union Address on Tuesday evening. 

Starr is a health care advocate working to raise awareness about maternal and mental health disparities among minority communities in Maryland and around the nation. Last year, she participated in a roundtable discussion with Congressman Hoyer and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) as part of their work with the Majority Leader Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, which was founded by Congressman Hoyer and chaired by Congresswoman Lee. Vinny is a longtime advocate for affordable health care in Maryland, and played a critical role in the enactment of the all-payer system in Maryland. 

"I am glad to welcome Starr and Vinny to the U.S. Capitol to be my guests at this year’s State of the Union address," said Congressman Hoyer. "Starr's passion for helping others is infectious. Her efforts to raise awareness and take action to address maternal and mental health disparities is critically important as House Democrats work to expand access to care for all Americans. As a founding member of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, I applaud the important work Starr is doing to advocate for minority mothers and their children and to help destigmatize mental health issues in communities of color."

"Vinny's tireless advocacy has ensured that thousands of Maryland families have access to affordable health care," continued Congressman Hoyer. "Vinny's work to enact the all-payer system in Maryland have made our state a model on how states can build on the achievements of the Affordable Care Act and bring cost-effective health care to families around the nation."

"I am glad to highlight the important work Starr and Vinny do in the Fifth District and around our state on these critical issues, which I hope the President will address tomorrow evening," said Congressman Hoyer.

Starr is a Charles County resident and was in the inaugural class of the March of Dimes MOMentum Policy Advocacy Fellows, a year-long program to learn more about impacting the policy-making process and how government policies affect the lives of mothers and their children. She is the founder of STILLGOING, an online guided meditation platform that promotes workplace wellness and productivity. She is also the co-creator of a nationwide HBCU Mental Health College Tour, which launched in October 2019 at Tennessee State University, and she is a co-host of Amerikan Therapy, a podcast focused on mental health and young Black Americans. She received her Bachelor of Science in Science from North Carolina A&T State University. Starr is a member of the Sigma Psi Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. 

As President of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, Vinny leads a coalition of over 1,000 organizations seeking to ensure all Marylanders have access to quality, affordable health care. Throughout his career, Vinny has led efforts to expand health care coverage and reduce gun violence in our communities. Vinny received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and his Master of Arts in American History from the Johns Hopkins University. He also received a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School. He and his wife Molly live in Baltimore.