Eric Swalwell Makes Tackling Gun Violence Central to His Campaign

June 18, 2019 by TWN Staff
Congressman Eric Swalwell waves to the audience after speaking during kickoff rally on Sunday, April 14, 2019 at Dublin High School in Dublin, Calif. Swalwell announced earlier in the month that he is seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

Candidate: Eric Swalwell

State of Residence: California

Campaign Website: https://ericswalwell.com

Congressman Eric Swalwell waves to the audience after speaking during kickoff rally on Sunday, April 14, 2019 at Dublin High School in Dublin, Calif. Swalwell announced earlier in the month that he is seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

Short Bio: Growing up in what now is California’s Fifteenth Congressional District taught Eric Swalwell a lot about hard work, strong principles, and planning for a brighter future.

The oldest of four boys and son to Eric Sr., a retired police officer, and Vicky, who works as an administrative assistant, Swalwell was raised and attended public schools in the East Bay. A Division I soccer scholarship was his ticket to becoming the first person in his family to go to college. During college, he worked as an unpaid intern in the office of his representative, Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, and so was on Capitol Hill on September 11, 2001. This inspired his first legislative achievement: using his Student Government Association position to create a public-private college scholarship program for students who lost parents in the attacks.

After earning undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Maryland, he returned to the East Bay to serve as a prosecutor in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office for seven years.  He also served as chairman of the Dublin Heritage & Cultural Arts Commission, on the Dublin Planning Commission, and was elected to the Dublin City Council.

Eric Swalwell in 2012 was elected to represent California’s Fifteenth Congressional District, which includes a large part of the East Bay. Now in his third term, he’s working hard to bring new energy, ideas, and a problem-solving spirit to Congress, with a focus on advancing policies that support equality, opportunity, and security.

Congressman Swalwell serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and believes protecting Americans is Congress’ most solemn duty. He chairs the Intelligence Modernization and Readiness Subcommittee, which oversees management of the Intelligence Community: the policies and programs focused on making sure that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have the workforce, infrastructure and services they need to succeed. This involves fostering greater collaboration and better use of resources across the entire Intelligence Community in personnel management, security clearance reform, information technology modernization, and other areas.

He also serves on the House Judiciary Committee, where his experience as a prosecutor and as a son and brother of law enforcement officers informs his perspective on criminal justice reform while he also address issues including voting rights, LGBTQ equality, comprehensive immigration reform, and protecting a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.

A leader in the House, he is co-chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, which makes committee assignments and sets the caucus’ policy agenda. He also founded and is chairman emeritus of Future Forum, a group of almost 50 young Democratic Members of Congress focused on issues and opportunities for millennial Americans including student loan debt and home ownership.

But in keeping with his promise to work across the aisle, in his first term, Congressman Swalwell co-founded the bipartisan United Solutions Caucus to bring new Members together; the group meets regularly to advance common-sense solutions and overcome the partisan divide. And in his second term, Swalwell cofounded the bipartisan Sharing Economy Caucus to explore how this burgeoning new economic sector can benefit more Americans.

Congressman Swalwell’s first-term legislative accomplishments include two of his bills signed into law – tied for the most bills signed from any freshman Member of his class – including one that incentivized charitable giving after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines. And, while serving on the Homeland Security Committee in his first term, he led a successful effort opposing a TSA proposal to allow certain knives aboard airplanes and advocated for enhancing airport perimeter security with innovative technological solutions. [Official Congressional Bio]

Fun Fact: Swalwell appeared on The Hill’s now-disbanded “50 Most Beautiful” list in 2014. [The Hill]

On the Issues

Health Care: Supports “coverage for all.” Swalwell published an op-ed in support of Medicare for All last month, writing that the policy is “the obvious solution to a health care system that still drives people to financial ruin.” Swalwell also co-sponsored a Medicare for All bill that House Democrats introduced in February.  

In March, Swalwell told Morning Joe that he supports “coverage for all” but is not in favor of eliminating private insurers, as some of his competitors are. (A page that was once dedicated to the issue on his website (now his official presidential campaign site) is currently not working.) [PBS]

Jobs/Economy/Taxes: To boost jobs and new opportunities, he supports workforce training, infrastructure investment and policies that encourage entrepreneurship in communities. He also believes the current tax code should be changed to spur economic activity in low-income communities.

In addition, Swalwell said he’s supportive of principles of the Green New Deal, the proposal unveiled last week to address climate change. [CNBC]

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