Rep. Eric Swalwell has a well-deserved reputation of working very hard to meet and serve his constituents.
The Dublin congressman sent out a fundraising email last week (asking for a really modest $5 gift) that touted a story by Emma Dumain posted on Roll Call about his new role reaching out to young people and encouraging them to vote.
Dumain's piece recounts how nervous Swalwell was when he headed for Washington D.C. after beating the 80-year-old, 20-term incumbent Pete Stark. He declined to wait his turn, something that both Ro Khanna and former state Senator Ellen Corbett did to their eventual chagrin. Khanna failed to take out veteran South Bay Congressman Mike Honda last November, while former state Senator Corbett finished third in the last June's primary and now has moved on to an appointed state government position.
She goes on to say that now retired Rep. George Miller of Martinez greeted Swalwell and told him he was "a full member of Congress" and they wanted to work with him.
With Miller's welcome, he was then connected with Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren, two veteran Bay Area members, and then minority leader Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi picked Swalwell to serve on the Democrat Steering and Policy Committee and this year he was appointed to the House Intelligence Committee.
Swalwell related how he would pick Pelosi's brain in the airliner as they flew home to California.
When he was tapped to lead the Future Forum to reach out to fellow millennials, Pelosi wrote to Roll Call in an email, "Eric Swalwell is a dynamic, young leader in our Caucus whose creativity, energy and his focus on finding solutions is valued," Pelosi said in an emailed statement to CQ Roll Call. "Congressman Swalwell is particularly well qualified to head up the DPCC's outreach focused on sharpening Democrats' message in engaging millennials who are the future of our country."
For people in his Democrat-dominated district (the chance of a Republican winning in Swawell's district is nil?it's a 16-point registration advantage for the Democrats), who you hang around with counts. In the Bay Area, Swalwell may be the most moderate member of the Bay Area delegation, but he is hanging around with plenty of progressives (liberal is not far enough left).
That leaves folks with a conservative viewpoint with few options. It is similar to the challenge faced by red country San Joaquin County representatives in Sacramento. The coastal counties hold the population and voting edge so getting something positive done is rare.
That's actually what's remarkable about how both houses in Sacramento came together to put the water bond on the ballot last summer and then saw it passed by an overwhelming margin.