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 second 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 is the top Democrat on the Subcommittee on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), responsible for the oversight, policy, activities, and budget of the CIA. 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, LGBT equality, comprehensive immigration reform, and protecting a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.
An up-and-coming 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 chairs the Future Forum, a group of more than 20 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.
Even while addressing national and international issues, Congressman Swalwell remains rooted in the region he represents. He flies home almost every weekend, and has been a leader in adopting social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat as well as technology like Skype to stay in constant contact with constituents.