San francisco Chronicle...February 6, 2014

Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier is gearing up for what she hopes is the next big fight in Congress -- ballancing out the growing economic inequality that has ravaged the middle-class for years -- so she reckoned she'd do a bit of ground-level research first.

And since you can't get much more ground level than a homeless shelter, that's where she went last Friday -- to spend the night.

The Maple Street Shelter in Redwood City was the destination ....Speier had actually been there a week before to chat with the residents, and the fact that a well-off Hillsborough member of the Washington power structure was hanging out with the penniless was lost on nobody, least of all the member herself......."That was the point," she said.

"I'm still kind of reeling from the experience"..."EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO DO WHAT I DID," Speier said this week...."It would help us appreciate who we are talking about ....We rattle off numbers; but it doesn't speak about the people themselves."

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Rodger97321's picture
Rodger97321 3 years 41 weeks ago

OK, but I don't want to hear her talk 100 hours about the 10 hours she spent researching or it will get reclassified as slumming (but not necessarily by me).

bluedog 294's picture
bluedog 294 3 years 41 weeks ago

You don't know much about her, do you?

She is not the type of person who would "talk 100 hours about the 10 hours she spent" in that homeless shelter.

"Speier stayed up chatting with the shelter staff and residents past 1 AM....She drive herself, solo, to the shelter, brought a bunch of warm coats to donate, and when lights-out time came, Rep. Speier bunked down alone,..No handlers in sight."

"The fact that she trusted the scene enough to sleep by herself, made sure she wasn't taking a bed from someone who needed it, and slipped easily into conversation, left a big impression ...This was no stunt," shelter staffers said.

"Her entire demeanor was very unassuming," said Mila Zelkha, Director of Strategic Relations for InnVision Shelter Network, which runs Maple Street..."I mean, she is an elegant, graceful person in how she communicates; but she dials into important things right away, and she creates a space where people confide in her....She's straight up and real."

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Rodger97321's picture
Rodger97321 3 years 40 weeks ago

Well, I've done the same thing a few times just to compare the facilities to the rumors and I've never made mention of it until now.

And I think I have mentioned before that a few times I've invited a person or couple that couldn't hande the local shelter (or vice versa) to use one of the spare rooms in my house for a few days to a week until they could get themselves reacquainted with the social services in our area - because that's my understanding of the "do unto others" teaching (not for publicity or any other kind of recognition).

So when I see that someone is publicizing their "citizenship" it's hard not to question what the motivation was in the first place. That's all - and the last part is just a reminder of what her adversaries are likely to do with it if it is weaponized against them.

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