Tribute to Retiring California Assemblywoman Jackie Speier

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Tuesday, February 27, 1996

Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the distinguished assemblywoman of the 19th assembly district of California, Ms. Jackie Speier. Many of the same communities in San Mateo County that are included in her State assembly district are also within the boundaries of the 12th Congressional District, which I have the privilege and honor to represent.

This coming weekend, the San Mateo County Democratic Party will salute Jackie Speier at a special appreciation dinner held to recognize the service she has rendered to the people of California. After a successful career in the California assembly, Jackie Speier will retire at the end of this legislative session. She will have completed her fifth term in the assembly and is not permitted to run again because of term limitations.

Jackie Speier was born in San Francisco--the daughter of a German immigrant and an American mother. She attended local schools in south San Francisco and graduated from Mercy High School in Burlington. She received a B.A. from the University of California at Davis and received a law degree from the University of California's Hastings College of the Law in 1976.

Following the completion of her education, Jackie served on the staff of our late colleague and my predecessor, Congressman Leo J. Ryan. In November 1978, Jackie accompanied Congressman Ryan to Jonestown, Guyana, to investigate the cult community led by the Rev. Jim Jones. As my colleagues know, Congressman Ryan was killed during that visit to Jonestown, and Jackie Speier was seriously injured at the same time. That was followed by the tragic suicide-murder of over 900 cult members.

After returning to California, Ms. Speier was elected to the San Mateo County board of supervisors in November 1980, where she effectively served the people of San Mateo County for 5 years. During that time she served 1 year as chair of the board. In November 1986, she was elected a member of the California State Assembly. During the decade that she represented the 19th assembly district, Jackie led the assembly's Committee on Consumer Protection, Governmental Efficiency and Economic Development. She was a constructive and articulate spokesperson and advocate for consumer interests and government efficiency for the people of San Mateo County.

Jackie is the mother of two delightful children--Jackson Kent Sierra and Stephanie Katelin Elizabeth Sierra. Her husband, Dr. Steven Sierra, was killed in a tragic automobile accident in early 1994, a few months before the birth of their last child.

Mr. Speaker, I invite my colleagues to join me in paying tribute to Jackie Speier as she completes 10 years of distinguished service in the California State Assembly. The people of San Mateo County and the people of California have been well served by her leadership and advocacy in the State assembly.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).