Congressman Eric Swalwell on the Millennial Vote, FBI Letters and Dublin’s Transformation
DUBLIN, CA–OneDublin.org met up with Congressman Eric Swalwell last night during a campaign event at Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl. Congressman Swalwell, a Dublin native and Dublin High School Class of 1999 graduate, aka “Snapchat king of Congress“, took a few minutes in-between frames to share his thoughts on the millennial vote, the recent FBI letters on Secretary Clinton’s email server and Dublin’s dramatic transformation over the past decade.
OneDublin.org: For first time voters this has been an unprecedented election cycle. What positives can you pull out of this cycle so that first time voters are not completely disillusioned?
Congressman Eric Swalwell: “First time voters have to believe that they can make a difference, and that the issues they care about are going to have a voice through the candidates they support. With our campaign, if you want to see student loan debt reduced, if you want to see college made more affordable, if you want to see an economy that has jobs for all of us, you should probably vote. And speaking to millennials, use #probablyvote on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, and then tag someone with your issue and ask about their issues. It’s important that millennials engage in this election and that their voices are heard. We’ve had Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed from the Vampire Diaries tweet on #probablyvote as well as ‘millennial soul’ Barbra Streisand to build momentum.”
OneDublin.org: Social media has been a powerful tool for communicating ideas, but has also been criticized for promoting ‘slackerism’. For students coming out of this election wanting to get more involved what steps can they take beyond social media?
Congressman Swalwell: “I go with ‘think, tweet, act’. We can all think about what we care about, and it’s easy to tweet about what we care about, the hard part is acting which starts with voting, helping register others to vote or getting involved with community events.
“I believe young people are going to show up in record numbers because we are the largest, most diverse, best educated generation America has ever known, and we feel a responsibility to not let the most divisive, most bigoted candidate for President that our country has ever seen have any chance of walking into the Oval Office.”
OneDublin.org: What do you take away from the past week and and half, bookended by the two letters from the FBI regarding Secretary Clinton’s email server?
Congressman Swalwell: “It’s the ups and downs of the 24-7 news cycle. It was only eleven days ago that Director Comey said the FBI was re-opening the investigation because of new emails. As a former prosecutor I understand that if you tell Congress you will let them know if new information is found, and then you find new information, that you are in a vice. If Director Comey hadn’t disclosed the new information and Secretary Clinton won, her Presidency would be delegitimized because Republicans would say he did everything in his power to protect her; but if he did disclose it, then folks would say he’s trying to influence the election. Most prosecutors that I know, and as I was trained, would, out of an abundance of caution, always disclose rather than withhold.
“I’m happy the FBI was able to close the investigation before Election Day. The worse-case scenario would have been if people had gone to the polls with a cloud of confusion hanging over their heads about what was going to happen with Secretary Clinton. It’s all cleared up and except for some early voters no-one can say they are going to the polls on Tuesday without all the information about who these candidates are.”
OneDublin.org: You are here today at Dublin Bowl in your hometown. What does Dublin, California mean to you?
Congressman Swalwell: “Dublin Bowl is practically a second home. It’s around the corner from where I grew up when I was attending Dublin High School. It was the only place I was allowed to be after curfew on the weekend for midnight bowling.
Growing up here I played competitive soccer in San Ramon and playing in a neighboring city you get to find out what people really think of where you live and at the time Dublin was known as ‘Scrubland’. I heard Danville, Pleasanton and San Ramon kids all call us ‘Scrubland’. But because of the leadership and hard work of our civic leaders over the past fifteen years we have some of the best schools, the best police and fire, an amazing Senior Center, a swim center and some of the best athletic fields and even a Whole Foods. Whole Foods, I guess, being the right of passage for any desirable city. No one calls us Scrubland anymore.
“There are growth challenges right now but we’re a long way from where we were when I was growing up in Dublin, when only a third of the kids went on to a four year college, when we had the highest unemployment rate in the Tri-Valley and when we had the highest vacancy rate for office buildings in the area. Dublin is now one of the most desirable places in the whole Bay Area to live.”