Former Bay Area congresswoman launches foundation to help pull women, children out of poverty

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Friday, March 24, 2023
Former Bay Area lawmaker launches foundation to help women in poverty
Former Bay Area congresswoman Jackie Speier launches Jackie Speier Foundation to pull San Mateo women and children out of poverty

SAN MATEO, Calif. (KGO) -- Former Congresswoman and ABC7 Political Analyst Jackie Speier has launched her own foundation called the "Jackie Speier Foundation" to help women and children out of poverty in San Mateo County.

Funded by $1 million from her own campaign, Speier says it's her time to mix up a bit of "good trouble," as the late Rep. John Lewis would say, in what she is calling the most important campaign of her life.

"And when you realize that we are the wealthiest county in the state, we just can't let that be," Speier said.

San Mateo County is also the fourth richest county in the country, yet the county is also home to as many as 27,000 children living in poverty, according to Two out of every five children in the county go to bed hungry at night.

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"When leaving an abusive household, one of the biggest fears you have is like what if I can't make it on my own?" Christina Sandoval, a single parent in San Mateo said. "What if I'm going to have to come back because I'm not going to make it on my own with my kids?"

A life-long resident of San Mateo, Christina Sandoval, left an abusive relationship with her three kids just nine months ago, on top of working two jobs to keep food on the table, she is now staying at a family-friendly shelter.

"I remember calling and being like we're about to lose our house in less than a week and I don't have anywhere to go and they're like, well you make too much money so you don't qualify for the motel that's through the county because you make too much," she said.

But Speier says the goal is to put money directly into the hands of moms like Sandoval and get them and their kids out of poverty.

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"So they can fix the car, so they're not evicted from their homes so that they don't end up homeless," Speier said. "This is the biggest campaign, in part, because there's a generation of kids that are going to grow up and be educated and successful, I mean, I want that on my tombstone."

And Sandoval says she's now on track to be connected to permanent housing in the next few months after meeting with Speier.

"It gives you hope, right, like maybe I can make it and maybe it won't be so hard," Sandoval said.

The Jackie Speier Foundation is already hard at work with local organizations such as the Samaritan House in San Mateo County, they're responsible for feeding thousands of families across this area.

If you'd like to help, they are already collecting donations through the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation here.

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