• Julie Balzer

Undaunted: Face to Face with True Courage

Updated: May 13, 2019


Jackie Speier has represented several Northern California congressional districts since 2008, but she's been a cultural and political mainstay for much longer. If you haven't read her autobiography "Undaunted", I urge you to listen to the audiobook to hear her gripping first-hand account of how she (barely) survived the Jonestown massacre at age 28, how she lost the love of her life in a split second, and faced so many other challenges that would bring most of us to our knees, yet somehow propelled her forward.


I've wanted to meet her for a long time to thank her for paving the way for many of our rights, especially those of women. So, when I heard she'd be signing books at our local library I was one of the first in line. I approached her, humbled and star-struck, clutching my copy, trying to decide what exactly to say. I eked out a thank-you for writing the book and promised her my daughters would know her story. She smiled politely and applied her signature. Then I wished her a happy Mother's Day, which made her light up. After all, that role is just as important as any other she's occupied.

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