A lawmaker’s daughter goes over to the dark side

The grapevine tells me Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, recently accompanied her daughter on a trip to the University of Missouri, Columbia, who’ll soon be starting there as a freshman; apparently Stephanie Sierra is interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree from Mizzou’s renowned journalism school.

You’d think someone with Speier’s rhetorical skills could’ve talked her daughter into pursuing some line of work more honest and popular than journalism – maybe, used car sales, or perhaps ambulance-chasing tort law.

In all seriousness, however, Sierra appears to have had a distinguished record at Mercy High School, the same Catholic girls’ prep school in Burlingame that her mother had attended. As juniors, she and another student founded a “P.S. We Care” foundation to raise money to help people with autism; as a senior, she served as the student body’s secretary.

Mizzou was transformative for me, not only for the practical journalism education it offered but also as an expansion of horizons for a coastal kid suddenly dropped into the Midwest. I hope Ms. Sierra has as positive an experience there as I did.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    Rock Chalk!



  • Josh Richman

    @#1 – I just KNEW I didn’t like you, Elwood. Now I finally know why.

  • DanvilleDemocrat

    Piling on. . . .

    GO ‘CATS!

    (Though admittedly a less obviously well-known reference to Northwestern’s famed Medill School of Journalism.)

    Hearty congratulations to Congresswoman Speier’s daughter.

  • JohnW


    What Josh said.

    I’m Big Ten, but my sister and brother-in-law are K-State.


  • JohnW

    Mizzou, Medill and Columbia are all top rated J-schools. But I wonder how many of their grads are getting jobs in journalism these days.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Hey, journ students! After you have a few semesters under your belt, I can help you get a paid internship at the NY Herald Tribune, The Chicago Daily News or The Call-Bulletin in SF.

  • moderate voter

    I wanted to mention Cal State Chico has a great journalism school too – the student paper the Orion wins national pacemaker awards almost every year – in fact the whole communication department is great. Having lived in Chico I can tell you is just like a mid-west town, it has great bars but lousy weather, most of the time. But I would agree with Josh, Mizzou is a great college, for a reporter it’s like going to Harvard Law.