As co-chairman of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, Congressman Eric Swalwell helps set the caucus’ policy agenda and oversees committee assignments. As founder and chairman of Future Forum, he is House Democrats’ point man on outreach to millennials – the nation’s biggest, most diverse and best-educated generation. And as Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee’s CIA Subcommittee and a Judiciary Committee member, he’s playing key roles in keeping our nation safe.
In all these roles, Eric Swalwell fights for Americans’ Freedom to Dream: the ability to reach for and attain better lives for themselves and their families.
Eric, 36, represents California’s 15th Congressional District, including much of the eastern San Francisco Bay Area. Raised in Dublin, Calif., he’s the son of a retired police officer and a still-working mother; the oldest of four siblings; and – with a Division 1 soccer scholarship – the first in his family to attend college. His Capitol Hill internship coincided with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, cementing his resolve to enter public service and inspiring his first legislative achievement: 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, he won his first House term in 2012 by defeating a 40-year incumbent.
Since then, Eric has emerged as a leading voice for younger Americans. In April 2015, he founded Future Forum: a group of young Democratic Members of Congress, now numbering about 25, focused on issues most important to millennials including college affordability and student loan debt; jobs and economic opportunity; home ownership; and climate change.
Eric’s Intelligence and Judiciary committee seats, along with his prosecutorial background, give him a unique perspective on protecting Americans and our rights.
When House Democrats staged a 25-hour sit-in to decry inaction on gun-violence legislation in June 2016, Eric was first to live-stream the protest from his phone after House cameras went dark. When it became clear that Russia interfered in 2016’s election, he introduced the first legislation calling for an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the meddling and ensure it never happens again.
Although firm in his Democratic principles, Eric deliberately has charted a bipartisan course – and not just because he’s the son of two Republicans. In his first term, he co-founded the United Solutions Caucus composed of freshman from both sides of the aisle who continue to work together to find common ground and solve problems.
Eric has forgotten neither where he came from nor why he was sent to Washington. Honoring a campaign promise, he returns to his district most weekends for local meetings and events. His constant motion has spawned a bona fide social-media phenomenon: #Swalwelling, the act of photographing one’s own foot crossing an aircraft’s threshold. And when his duties require him to be elsewhere, he is adept at using technology to stay in close touch with constituents – from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to Skype, Snapchat and Periscope.