Eric Swalwell hosts hometown rally

By Alli Weseman, PHOTO EDITOR

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“I have come back here, to Dublin backed by my neighbors who have always been in my corner to declare my candidacy for President of the United States of America,” he told supporters at Dublin High School, his alma mater.
His speech centered on the dwindling American Dream. He depicted his story to the crowd as one focused on hard work, from waking up at 6 a.m. to deliver newspapers to folding sweaters at Aeropostale in Stoneridge Mall as a teenager.
“Doing all of these jobs meeting all of those people, I saw a lot of struggle and a lot of sacrifices. I saw firsthand how powerful but elusive the American Dream could feel.”
While Swalwell is considered a long shot in a crowded Democratic Presidential field, he’s no stranger to it. In 2012, he won his first race for Congress, defeating incumbent Pete Stark, who held the seat for 40 years, which is longer than Swalwell has been alive.
He acknowledged to the crowd that they will face an uphill battle, but they have the power to win.
“I come from a generation that’s used to starting from scratch and innovating. We begin with a great idea, we build it in our garage, and we light up the world.”
Swalwell also spoke about the student debt crisis and told the crowd that along with other young Americans, he has student loan debt.
“The memories from college should last a lifetime that interest payments should not. The federal government should not be making money off college students.”
He outlined his college plan, which would give students free college that participate in work-study programs and volunteer in their community after they graduate.
Swalwell has said that he will not run for President and re-election for Congress at the same time. Hayward City Councilmember Aisha Wahab declared her candidacy on Friday for Swalwell’s open seat in the House of Representatives.
Many of his supporters have been with him since the beginning, wearing t-shirts from when he first ran for Congress and his days on the Dublin City Council.
“When Eric was first elected to Congress, he came to the union hall where my club meets and spoke to us about fixing Democracy; Citizens United, Gerrymandering, the electoral college and all of the other issues that have to do with money in politics,” said Ellis Goldberg, President of the Tri-Valley Democratic Club.