August 23, 2019

Community News

Women's History Month & Black History Account~ Congresswoman Jackie Speier Remembers Jonestown
February 22, 2019

Courtesy of Riki Rafner, Commonwealth Club

Media Advisory from

The Commonwealth Club

the nation’s premier public affairs forum



Jackie Speier: Member of Congress, (D-CA) Author of Undaunted: Surviving Jonestown, Summoning Courage, and Fighting Back.


Congresswoman Jackie Speier


Monday, March 18, 2019


6:30 p.m. Check In; 7:00 p.m. Program; 8:00 p.m. Book Signing


Lucie Stern Theatre (near Melville and Middlefield), 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto


Members $15, Non-members $25, Premium (Includes book and priority seating) Members $45, Non-members $55, Student $8(with valid student ID). To buy tickets call (415) 597-6705 or register at ( Prices subject to change.


Riki Rafner, Director of Media and Public Relations, (415) 597-6712

Media interested in attending should please RSVP to

Or ggehue@commonwealth

Good Lit event – Underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation

California Congresswoman Jackie Speier will share her account of surviving the Jonestown massacre and becoming a fearless voice against injustice and inequality. At twenty-eight years old, Congresswoman Jackie Speier was shot five times at point-blank range during an investigative effort to gain knowledge into cult leader Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana.


The delegation was led by Congressman Leo Ryan, who was one of five killed on the airstrip tarmac. While recovering from what would become one of the most harrowing tragedies in recent history, Speier had to choose: Would she become a victim or a fighter? The choice to survive against unfathomable odds empowered her with a resolve to become a vocal proponent for human rights.


Deeply rooted in Speier’s experiences as a widow, a mother, a congresswoman, and a fighter, hers is a story of true resilience, one that will inspire other women to draw strength from adversity in order to do what is right—no matter the challenges ahead.


Speier has served as Congresswoman for the 14th district which includes the City and County of San Francisco and parts of San Mateo County since 2008.  Speier was elected to the California State Senate in 1998, and again in 2002.  As a state Senator, Speier helped secure $127 million in funding for service improvements to Caltrain and served as assistant president pro tempore during her last term.  Speier has authored over 300 bills that have been signed into law during her 18 years in the California State Legislature, including one that protects the privacy of banking and credit card customers. She was the third state lawmaker in history to be nominated by both Democrats and Republicans in a primary election. Speier has a B.A. from the University of California, Davis and a J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

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