U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell
California Democratic Party State Convention
San Francisco, CA
June 1, 2019


Hello California Democrats. Thank you. It is great to be here back among family and I also have to thank you especially as someone who has served in the House under this administration. You worked hard, you sent us seven new representatives; you delivered the House. You did that. You may have saved democracy, but I'll tell you one thing you did. You cut our time in hell in half.

So California, were you done when you did that work?

[Audience: No]

I didn't think so.

Or are you just warming up? I think we're warming up.

I've been on the road across our country meeting people all over America. And you know that there's a few folks out there, including this president, who like to smack-talk California.

But what they don't get is what it means to be Californian.

You know what that means. Being Californian means making big ideas real, ideas that others later adopt. It's the idea of so many California success stories. Try. Fail. Try. Fail. Try. Instagram. That's like unreal. We change. We adapt. We evolve. We think up policies and then we improve them. We invent the latest tech and then we invent its replacement.

Now that also happens to be true for our celebrity culture. Let's be honest about this. California helped spread reality TV to the world. But, California, we're going to help remove a reality TV star from the Oval Office. This series is cancelled; there is not going to be a next season.

Now yes we have our problems. Our housing crisis, violence in our cities, racial injustice, inequality in our schools, but we come at these problems creatively and compassionately. And put a California Democrat in the White House and you will lhave that spirit all across America.

Now I'm not here to preach California exceptionalism, except when it comes to the Warriors, Dub Nation [NBA team in the playoffs]. I'm talking about Democratic exceptionalism. Many of us came here from elsewhere. We still feel those roots. And we know that any state can achieve what California has with policies that help people.

California represents what happens when we invest in opportunity and when we value equality.

So I'm telling you here today, California, if we can do it here, we can do it everywhere.

You're doing it here already. To make that happen we need a president who lives and works like Californians do, who lives and works like Americans do, and who feels what all of you feel.

Recently on Chicago's South side I was told that it's easier to get a gun than a ride to school. An Inglewood activist told me that she sees many of the homicide victims there also as suicides, but young men who have lost all hope of a better life and just want to die. In the United States of America.

I saw a lot of that when I prosecuted gun violence cases in Oakland, but hearing this kind of hopelessness should wound all of our souls.

So let's do this. Let's invest in hope in these places. We don't need a crime bill; we need a hope bill. Let's take the most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the most dangerous people. I am the only candidate in the field, but I welcome company, who says that we should ban and buy back every single assault weapon in America. We should do that. Those weapons belong in battlefields, not in our churches, not in our schools.

So you elect a president who worries about whether his kids are safe in school and you will have a voice who will make sure that your kids are safe in school.

In Iowa, I saw hollowed out candy jars at gas stations seeking charity to pay urgent health care costs. In the United States of America, American lives relying on the kindness of strangers. California, let's have a health care guarantee. If you're sick, you're seen, and when you're seen you don't go broke.

Medicare for anyone who wants it. But let's go further than that. Let's find the unfindable, solve the unsolvable and cure the incurable. So let's have health care for all, but let's also invest in finding cures in our lifetime for the deadliest, most debilitating diseases.

My wife and I fight insurance companies. We stand in line at the pharmacy for our kids' expensive prescriptions and we know you do too. So elect a young father to the White House and you'll get a voice who lives your health care struggle, you'll get a familly who believes that it was my wife's body, my wife's choice; her decision to have a baby, not the government's.

And I saw in Boston a mom whose college graduate daughter moved back home because of student loan debt that made it impossible to afford rent. I"m still paying off my student loan debt. I know that struggle. Too much money goes out the door.

Elect a four-term congressman with two kids who rents and hopes to buy one day ?when I grow up? and we'll put more money in more pockets at the end of every month.

I click that link every month. I know that you believe the interest rate on student loans should be zero. Bring it down to zero.

We can do all of that.

I believe in what you've already done. I think we can seize the momentum to do even more.

So in California when we approach a big problem, do we go small or do we go big?

[Audience: Big.]

When we believe everyone should have healthcare, no one should be paying off student loan debt for a lifetime, do we go weak or are we bold.

[Audience: Bold.]

And when we have immigrants at our border, people in need, do we go evil or do we do good?

[Audience: Good.]

California, I'm asking you. Go big, be bold, do good. Put me in the White House. Our issues are your issues. I'll fight for you every single day. God bless California, God bless America. Thank you.

Ed. notes:  Swalwell present himself as a man of the people, struggling with costly prescription drugs, student loan debt and rent.

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