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Conversation with Congresswoman Jackie Speier: Undaunted
January 18, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm UTC+0
When was the last time you got to spend your Friday night with a Member of Congress? Now’s your chance! Any not just any member but the fierce advocate and fighter Congresswoman Jackie Speier! Come meet Congresswoman Speier and hear about her new book, Undaunted, after her experience surviving Jonestown. She will be signing the book as well.
More info below!
Congresswoman Jackie Speier is the U.S. Representative for California’s Fourteenth Congressional District, which includes southwestern San Francisco, most of San Mateo County including Burlingame, Daly City, Colma, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Pacifica, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, and South San Francisco.
She’s been in Congress since 2008 and an elected official in California since 1986!
She is a recognized champion of women’s rights, personal privacy, and consumer safety—as well as an avowed opponent of government inefficiency and waste. In November 2017, Congresswoman Speier coauthored the #MeTooCongress Act to overhaul how sexual harassment and assault are reported and mediated on Capitol Hill, and in 2018 she was named one of “Politico’s 50” for these efforts. She is co-author of This Is Not the Life I Ordered. Speier received a BA in political science from the University of California at Davis and a JD from UC Hastings College of the Law. For more information, visit www.speier.house.gov/about.
Forty years after the Jonestown massacre changed her life, U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier tells her extraordinary story in UNDAUNTED: Surviving Jonestown, Summoning Courage, and Fighting Back (Little A/Amazon; November 6, 2018; Hardcover: $24.95; Trade Paperback Original: $14.95; Kindle Ebook: $4.99). UNDAUNTED shares the personal struggles—as a widow, a mother, and an outspoken victim of gun violence—that have shaped Congresswoman Speier’s unwavering dedication to her constituents and to fighting for what’s right, and fighting against waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption.
In November 1978, 28-year-old Jackie Speier, a congressional legal adviser, was part of the fateful delegation to investigate cult leader Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana. While helping victims to escape, the delegation was ambushed on the tarmac and Speier was shot five times at point-blank range. Her injuries were near-fatal, and after 22 hours in a cargo hold, she was miraculously rescued and brought home to the United States to embark on a long and harrowing recovery.
Her experiences inspired her work in public service, and in 2008 she was elected to Congress, filling the seat of longtime mentor Leo Ryan, who was killed in Jonestown. But her path was not without significant challenges, as Speier recounts in UNDAUNTED. Despite ongoing health struggles stemming from the shooting, and personal tragedies including the loss of her husband while she was pregnant with her second child, Speier continued to blaze an unparalleled path in regional and national politics.
She writes, “With the hindsight of forty years, I see that my baptism by gunfire guided me into the life I was meant to live: one of public service, one that would ignite the courage to make my voice heard, and one that would carry with it a visceral appreciation for each new day.”