Eric Swalwell’s Congressional Journey Begins in Office 501
We flew into Washington D.C. early Wednesday morning, my older daughter and I, to document history for Dublin High School and the City of Dublin. On Thursday January 3, Dublin resident and Dublin High graduate Eric Swalwell will be sworn into office with the 113th Congress.
We meet Eric in the Longworth Cafeteria, a nondescript eatery in the basement of a Congressional office building. Nondescript except for the guards and security check to enter the building, and sea of political operatives and government workers at every table, sightseeing tourists nowhere to be seen.
Eric greets us, dressed the part of a Congressman-Elect, suited and pressed, accompanied by two of his staff (that will total nine in all). We make our way through tunneled shortcuts to the Cannon House Office Building, heading for 501 – the home away from home for Eric and his team for the next two years. Along the way basement corridors are lined with furniture in transit as the 112th Congress gives way to the 113th.
A few wrong turns and a tight squeeze in a cozy elevator brings us to office 501. Down the hall a fellow Congresswoman and her staff mingle in the hall, stuck in limbo, their keys apparently cut for a different door.
We watch with some trepidation now as Eric reaches for the lock, key extended, moment of anticipation hanging in the air after over a year of campaigning, and the tell-tale click swings the door open. Congressman-Elect Swalwell still has an oath to recite before any of this is official, but stepping into Office 501 for the first time, past the “Eric Swalwell – California” name plate bolted to the wall, you sense a new beginning for California’s 15th Congressional District.
Eric Swalwell on entering his office for the first time, “It was thrilling. It was the fruit of a long campaign season being realized. We started this race back in July 2011 and here we are 18 months later to open these doors, knowing who sent us here and what’s behind these keys: all the people who volunteered; their energy. I felt the momentum of the 15th Congressional District behind me as I walked in – it was pretty exciting. There is a lot of work to do and we want to get started.”
We congratulate Eric, shake hands, accept the offer to be the first signatures in Eric’s Congressional Office Guest Book and find our way back out to The Mall, bright sun and crisp winter air, our brush with life behind the political veil complete; ordinary citizens once more.