Jackie Speier

Jackie Speier

name = Karen Lorraine Jacqueline Speier

caption = U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier
birth_date = birth date and age|1950|5|14
birth_place = San Francisco, California
residence =California
death_date =
death_place =
state = California
district = 12th
term_start = April 10, 2008
term_end =
predecessor = Tom Lantos
state_senate2 = California
district2 = 8th
term_start2 =1998
term_end2 =2006
predecessor2 = Quentin L. Kopp
successor2 = Leland Yee
state_assembly3 = California
district3 = 19th
term_start3 =1986
term_end3 = 1996
predecessor3 = Lou Papan
successor3 =Lou Papan
office4 = San Mateo County Supervisor
term_start4 =1980
term_end4 = 1986
predecessor4 =
successor4 =
constituency =
party = Democratic
residence = Hillsborough, California
occupation = attorney, political assistant
religion= Roman Catholic
alma_mater= University of California, Davis, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
spouse = Barry Dennis
children = Jackson
website = [http://speier.house.gov/ Congresswoman Jackie Speier]
footnotes =

Karen Lorraine Jacqueline Speier, known as Jackie Speier (born May 14, 1950), is the Democratic Representative for California's 12th congressional district. [ [http://clerk.house.gov/floorsummary/floor.html?day=20080410&today=20080410 CURRENT HOUSE FLOOR PROCEEDINGS - LEGISLATIVE DAY OF APRIL 10, 2008 - 110TH CONGRESS - SECOND SESSION] ] [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/08/BAC11025NU.DTL&tsp=1 SFGATE: Voters send Jackie Speier to Washington] ] [ [http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/Special/cd12/elections_cd12_results.htm California Secretary of State: Special Primary Election - April 8, 2008] ] The district includes the northern two-thirds of San Mateo County and the southwest quarter of San Francisco.

She is also a former member of the California State Senate who represented parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties. On April 8, 2008, she won the special election for the vacated United States House of Representatives seat of late Congressman Tom Lantos.


Speier was born in 1950 in San Francisco and grew up in an apolitical, working-class family. She took Jacqueline as her confirmation name after Jackie Kennedy.cite news | last =Haddock | first =Vicki | title =Jackie Speier -- moving on, moving up: Survivor of Jonestown ambush plans run for lieutenant governor | work =San Francisco Chronicle | date =November 16, 2003 | url =http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/11/16/INGEM3070L1.DTL&type=printable | accessdate = 2008-01-27 ] She is a graduate of Mercy High School in Burlingame. She earned a B.A. from the University of California, Davis, and a J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1976. [cite web | last = Staff | title = Alumni News | work = University of California Hastings College of the Law | month = April | year = 2007 | url = http://www.uchastings.edu/site_files/newsletter/eNewsletterApr.html | accessdate = 2008-01-27] Speier is of Armenian descent, and has a Jewish grandfather who fled Nazi Germany.cite news | last =Smith | first =Richard Harris | title =The Miscasting Of Congressman Lantos | work =California Chronicle | publisher =Ultio LLC. | date =November 21, 2007 | url =http://www.californiachronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=43481 | accessdate =2008-01-27 ]

Speier's first husband, Dr. Steve Sierra, died in a car accident in 1994 at the age of 53. At the time, she was two months pregnant with their second child, a daughter named Stephanie. [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/11/16/INGEM3070L1.DTL&type=printable Jackie Speier, Moving On, Moving Up] , November 16, 2003, San Francisco Chronicle.] They also had a son, Jackson, to whom Speier gave birth in 1988 [http://www.nndb.com/people/846/000168342/ Jackie Speier] at National Names DataBase.] while she was serving as a state representative in the California State Assembly, the first woman in that legislature to do so. Speier then supported her children as a widowed single mother before marrying Barry Dennis, an investment consultant, in 2001. [http://www.jackieforcongress.com/about/ Jackie For Congress: Bio] , biography page at 2008 campaign website.

Congressional aide

Speier served as a congressional staffer for Congressman Leo Ryan. Speier was part of the November 1978 fact-finding mission to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by the Reverend Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple followers, almost all of which were American citizens who had moved to Jonestown with Jones in 1977 and 1978. Speier was one of only two members of the mission who were concerned enough about potential violence to make out a will before traveling to Jonestown. [ [http://www.freedomofmind.com/resourcecenter/groups/p/peoplestemple/jonestown_doc_1.htm "Excerpt from: REPORT OF A STAFF INVESTIGATIVE GROUP TO THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES"] , MAY 15, 1979] Several Peoples Temple members ambushed the investigative team and others boarding the plane to leave Jonestown on November 18. Five people died, including Ryan. While attempting to shield herself from rifle and shotgun fire behind small airplane wheels with the other members of the team, Speier was shot five times.cite news | last =Staff | title =Senator Jackie Speier one of honored guests at banquet | work =Press Release | publisher =Armenian National Committee of America Western Region | date =October 2006 | url =http://www.anca.org/press_releases/press_releases.php?prid=644 | accessdate =2008-01-27 ] She had to wait 22 hours for help to arrive, but she survived. The murder of Congresman Ryan was the first and only murder of a Congressman in the line of duty in the history of the United States. [Jeff Brazil, [http://www.rickross.com/reference/jonestown/jonestown9.html "Jonestown's Horror Fades but Mystery Remain"] , Los Angeles Times, December 16 1999]

That same day, over 900 of the remaining members of the Peoples Temple died in Jonestown and Georgetown. Among historic mass suicides, it is the largest such event in over 1,900 years.

Political career

an Mateo County

Speier's political career began with an unsuccessful run to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Congressman Ryan (the seat she holds now). She lost the Democratic primary to G.W. "Joe" Holsinger, who went on to lose to the Republican candidate, San Mateo County Supervisor Bill Royer.

Speier won her first election in 1980, when she ran for the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and defeated a 20-year incumbent. At the time, she was the youngest person ever elected to the board. She was reelected in 1984, and was later selected as chairwoman..

California State Assembly

In 1986, midway through her second term on the Board of Supervisors, she ran for the California State Assembly from a district in northern San Mateo County. She won by a few hundred votes. She was reelected five more times, the last as the nominee of both the Democratic and Republican parties [http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/95-96/bill/asm/ab_0051-0100/hr_56_bill_960805_introduced.html HR 56 (1996) - California State Assembly] ]

California State Senate

California state term limits forced Speier to give up her Assembly seat in 1996, but in 1998 she was elected to the California State Senate. In 2002, she was elected to a second term with 78.2% of the vote. [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20070814080526/http://vote2002.sos.ca.gov/Returns/stsen/0859.htm California Secreatry of State, Vote2002, State Senate District 8] , accessed February 15, 2008 at web.archive.org] As a state senator, Speier was instrumental in securing $127 million funding for major service improvements to Caltrain, for which the commuter rail agency named a new locomotive (no. 925) for her. Speier also focused on representing consumer rights. [cite news | last =Yates | first =Dana | title =Yee looking to make mark | work =The Daily Journal | publisher =San Mateo County's homepage | date = | url =http://www.smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=67838 | accessdate =2008-01-27 ] Senator Speier was termed out of the California State Senate in 2006. Speier served as assistant president pro tempore of the California State Senate during her last term.

Candidate for Lieutenant governor of California

In 2006, Speier ran in the Democratic primary for Lieutenant governor of California against insurance commissioner John Garamendi and state senator Liz Figueroa. At the June 6, 2006 elections, Speier was defeated by Garamendi in a close race. Garamendi received 42.9%, Speier received 39.3%, and Figueroa received the remaining 17.8% of the vote.

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives

On January 13 2008, Speier announced she was running for the House seat being vacated by 14-term representative Tom Lantos, who announced on January 2, 2008 that he was not seeking re-election. Speier had spent much of 2007 building support to challenge Lantos in the Democratic primary. [cite news | last =Kapochunas | first = Rachel | title =California Dems Expected to Vie for Lantos Seat | work =CQ Politics | publisher =Congressional Quarterly Inc. | date =January 2, 2008 | url =http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docID=news-000002651163 | accessdate = 2008-01-27 ]

On January 17, 2008 Lantos endorsed Speier as his successor. She also picked up endorsements from Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Congressman Mike Thompson and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Lantos died February 11, 2008. Speier won a special primary election on April 8, 2008 to fill the remainder of his term, which ends in January 2009. She won with the majority of the votes against 4 other candidates so it was not necessary to hold a special election runoff on June 3, 2008. [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/02/13/BA3JV17U2.DTL&type=politics John Wildermuth, "San Francisco Chronicle," February 13, 2008, "April 8 primary set to pick Lantos' successor"] , accessed February 15, 2008] The regular state primary for that seat was on June 3, and Speier won the Democratic primary. Given the district's overwhelming Democratic tilt, this primary victory was tantamount to election to a full term. [cite news | last =Bishop | first =Shaun | title =Lantos endorses Speier as 'our best candidate': 14-term congressman's support comes just days after former state senator announced candidacy | work =Inside Bay Area | publisher = ANG Newspapers | date =January 17, 2008 | url =http://www.insidebayarea.com/search/ci_7996173 | accessdate = 2008-01-27 ]

On July 11, 2008 Speier introduced her first bill, The Gasoline Savings and Speed Limit Reduction Act, which would set a national speed limit of 60 mph in urban areas and 65 mph on less-populated stretches of highway.

2008 presidential campaign

Speier endorsed Hillary Clinton's bid for president, [http://www.nndb.com/org/570/000167069/ Hillary Clinton For President] at National Names DataBase.] along with numerous other public figures such as Maya Lin, Nita Lowey, Floyd Abrams, and Gloria Steinem.


*"", by Deborah Collins Stephens, Michealene Cristini Risley, Jackie Speier, and Jan Yanehiro, 2007, ISBN 978-1573243056

ee also

* Armenian American Political Action Committee
* Armenian National Committee of America
* List of Armenian-Americans


External links

* [http://speier.house.gov/ Jackie Speier] , U.S. House site
* [http://www.jackieforcongress.com/ Jackie Speier for Congress] , campaign website

;Election Websites
* [http://vote.ss.ca.gov/Returns/ltg/00.htm California June Primary Results] ;Speeches
* [http://edcorner.stanford.edu/downloadMaterial.html?mid=1680&fileId=6505/ Jackie Speier and Deborah Stephens] Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders seminar mp3.;Media, press
* [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/11/MNNP11N0G7.DTL&type=printable/ Speier seeks national speed limit to save gas] , July 11, 2008, San Francisco Chronicle
* [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/11/16/INGEM3070L1.DTL&type=printable Jackie Speier -- moving on, moving up: Survivor of Jonestown ambush plans run for lieutenant governor] , November 16, 2003, San Francisco Chronicle
* [http://www.motherjones.com/news/qa/2005/07/jackie_speier.html Reforming California's Prisons: An Interview With Jackie Speier] , Mother Jones (magazine), July 7, 2005 ;Honors
* [http://www.sfsu.edu/~news/2006/spring/comm06.htm Commencement Speaker] , San Francisco State University, 2006
* [http://www.anca.org/press_releases/press_releases.php?prid=644 Senator Jackie Speier one of honored guests at banquet] , Armenian National Committee of America Western Region, October 2006.;Video
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59VvvXcMmkQ This Is Not The Life I Ordered] , preview of book, promotional video with Jackie Speier

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