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San Francisco, San Mateo County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Jackie Speier

Candidate for
United States Representative; District 12

This information is provided by the candidate

Jackie Speier was sworn into Congress on April 10, 2008 to fill the unexpired term of the late Congressman Tom Lantos.

Jackie was born in San Francisco's Sunset District and attended public schools in South San Francisco before entering Burlingame's Mercy High School. While studying at University of California Davis, she interned for State Assemblyman Leo J. Ryan in his Sacramento office. After graduating, she joined Ryan's Washington, DC staff upon his election to Congress. She returned to San Francisco for her JD degree from UC's Hastings College of the Law then rejoined Congressman Ryan as his legal advisor.

In November, 1978 Jackie and the congressman escorted a group to Jonestown, Guyana to investigate claims that constituents were being held against their will at the People's Temple by Reverend Jim Jones. While Speier and Ryan escorted defecting cult members to their plane, they were ambushed by gunmen. Congressman Ryan and four others were killed, including an NBC reporter and cameraman and a photographer for the San Francisco Examiner. Jackie was shot five times and left for dead.

Earlier this year she told the Washington Post, "I think the experience in Guyana just made me more fearless... Once you have looked death in the eye, you're just not nearly that afraid."

In eighteen years in the California State Assembly and Senate, Jackie Speier authored more than 300 bills that were signed into law by both Democratic and Republican Governors. Her four-year crusade to protect consumers' financial privacy from the invasive practices of banking and insurance companies led to the California Financial Privacy Act, which was hailed by Consumers Union as "The strongest financial privacy legislation in the nation."

Unfortunately, her 2005 bill to regulate sub-prime loans did not succeed. Who's to say how California's real estate landscape would look today if it had?

Fortunately, Jackie sits on the two most crucial committees in Congress for reforming the banking, finance and insurance industries. Upon her election to Congress, Speaker Pelosi appointed her to The House Committee on Financial Services and The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

When asked for her philosophy of life, Jackie often quotes Winston Churchill: "Success is never final and failure is never fatal."

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 10, 2008 06:30
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