For the last six years, Eric Swalwell has represented California’s 15th Congressional District, including much of the eastern San Francisco Bay Area. He was born in Iowa and spent his early years in Algona, where his dad served as police chief, before his family eventually settled in Dublin, California. Thanks to his parents’ hard work, and to his own decent soccer abilities, Eric earned a Division 1 soccer scholarship to become the first in my family to attend college.
As co-chairman of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, he’s helped set the caucus’ policy agenda and oversee committee assignments. As founder and chairman emeritus of Future Forum, Eric has been House Democrats’ point man on outreach to millennials – the nation’s biggest, most diverse and best-educated generation. As Chairman of the Intelligence Modernization and Readiness Subcommittee of the House Intelligence Committee, he’s helped keep our nation safe. And as a Judiciary Committee member, he’s stood up and spoken out for upholding the rule of law and equality for all.
Eric’s Capitol Hill internship coincided with the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, cementing his resolve to enter public service and inspiring his first legislative achievement: creating a public-private college scholarship program for students who lost parents in the attacks. After earning a law degree, working as a county prosecutor, and serving on the Dublin City Council, Eric won his first House term in 2012 by defeating a 40-year incumbent.
In April 2015, Eric founded Future Forum: a group of young Democratic Members of Congress, now numbering almost 50, focused on issues of key importance to millennials including college affordability and student loan debt; jobs and economic opportunity; home ownership; and climate change. As chairman, he visited almost 50 U.S. cities to listen to thousands of young Americans and bring their ideas back to Washington to guide policy.
Eric served on the Homeland Security Committee – championing causes such as aviation security – before being appointed to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. With on-the-ground experience of visits to Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, Russia, South Korea, and other nations, and with regular briefings on the threats facing America, he’s well-versed in the threats that face our nation and how to protect us.
Eric also serves on the Judiciary Committee, where he uses his experience as a prosecutor and as a son and brother of law enforcement officers. On that committee, he also deals with issues including voting rights, LGBT equality, comprehensive immigration reform, and protecting a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.
When House Democrats staged a 25-hour sit-in to protest inaction on gun-violence legislation in June 2016, Eric was first to start live-streaming the protest from his phone after the House Chamber’s cameras were cut off. When it became clear that Russia interfered in 2016’s election, he co-authored the first legislation calling for creation of an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the meddling and make recommendations to ensure it never happens again.
His most important roles are husband to Brittany and dad to Nelson and Kathryn (a.k.a. Cricket).