I'm currently at the Leo J Ryan memorial park for Jackie Speier's official congressional campaign kickoff. Wow. Not only is it the nicest day imaginable, but the crowd is amazingly huge (I'll have pics up later). I'm told the number is 812 signed in with over 40 of her 92 endorsed elected officials on hand. Anna Eshoo. Mike Thompson. John Burton. Scores of volunteers. Hot dogs and a cotton candy machine. The operation is top notch.
If it is possible to win a campaign with one event, the Speier campaign may have pulled it off today. The overwhelming show of support and organization is going to make anyone think long and hard about getting in the race. Speier's popularity in the district is legendary, but today was a powerful reminder of how deep that support runs. There's a poll after the jump asking your predictions as to whether you think Leland Yee gets in. I'm voting no.
Updated with pictures and speech exerts and news coverage and videos.
Campaign Manager Alex Tourk briefing volunteer organizers.
People ask why I am running for Congress.
We spend $10 billion a month in a senseless war in Iraq, while just $10 billion a year would cover every uninsured child in America.
That's why I'm running for Congress.
Each day thousands of Americans have their personal financial information traded for money or outright stolen. I would like to see the same type of tough financial privacy laws passed at the federal level that I got passed here in California.
That's why I'm running for Congress.
The federal government is fighting to keep California from cleaning our own air. I'd like to see an Environmental Protection Agency that is on the side of the environment and not the polluters.
Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are denied quality healthcare in a nation that asks them to make the ultimate sacrifice. This is ridiculous. We can do better, and that is why I am running for Congress.
When I look out before me, I see hardworking people who share these values. That's why I love our area. Teachers, firefighters, police officers, nurses, small business owners, students-all with a stake in the future of America, all concerned about the common problems we face, but all dedicated to a common belief: America is great, and while we sometimes lose our way we must not lose our vision.
The vision to create universal healthcare for all Americans, to put an end to the 47 million who go without.
The vision to support funding for schools and colleges because investing in children and our future is not simply a moral obligation but a national honor.
I will spend the next months meeting voters in their homes, on the sidewalk and in coffee shops. I invite anyone who wants to sit down with me to share their thoughts. I am asking for your vote in the June Democratic primary, but I am asking for you to also share your dreams for America. Let us come together as we are today, San Francisco and the Peninsula, young and old, gay and straight, black and white, Asian, Pilipino and Latino, Democrats, Independents, and Republicans- all of us who love our country and who know that we can do better.
The event had a fourth of July feel, with a jazz band, red white and blue balloons, and dozens of local politicians, free hotdogs, kids and dogs along the waterfront at Leo J. Ryan Park.
"I can think of no better place to announce my candidacy for the 12th congressional district of the California to the US House of Representatives than right here," said Speiers.
For Immediate Release: January 13, 2008
Jackie Speier officially announces her bid for Congress in California's 12th District
Flanked by family, friends, neighbors, and elected officials, Jackie Speier officially announced her candidacy for Congress today at Leo J. Ryan Park in Foster City.
Hundreds of supporters joined Jackie at the park memorialized for her political mentor, Congressman Leo Ryan, who was killed 30 years ago this year while investigating human rights violations in Guyana. "I can think of no better place to announce to my friends, neighbors, and colleagues that I am running for Congress in the 12th District," Jackie said.
Jackie was introduced by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Congressman Mike Thompson and former State Senator John Burton, three of the 92 elected officials representing every city within the 12th congressional district who have endorsed Jackie's candidacy.
Drawing on 24 years of public service experience, Jackie emphasized her legislative record on issues including consumer protection, healthcare, transportation, and the environment. She also laid out her plans to spend the next six months in meetings and discussion with the residents of the district.
"Let us come together as we are today, San Francisco and the Peninsula, young and old, gay and straight, black and white, Asian, Filipino and Latino, Democrats, Independents, and Republicans- all of us who love our country and who know that we can do better," Jackie said.
Jackie was also joined by her husband Barry Dennis, her two children Jackson and Stephanie, her mother Nancy, and her mother-in-law Betty