Democratic Presidential hopeful Eric Swalwell Jr., a U.S. Representative from California’s 15th congressional district, was the second presidential candidate to take part in Nevada’s Coffee with Candidates at Farm Grounds and the third candidate to make a formal visit to Nevada in recent months.
The native Iowan stopped in Sunday morning as area residents packed into the small cafe, hoping to shake hands and share a few thoughts.
As he greeted the entire group, Swalwell warned first off that there would be a “storm on the way,” as his 2-year-old son, Nelson, would be waking up soon and making his way into the cafe. Later, when Nelson did, he ended up in his dad’s arms while Swalwell continued to speak to locals and answer questions.
Among some of the comments Swalwell made in Nevada:
• Due to work done during the most recent election, he promised, “this is the last term Steve King (congressman from Iowa) is serving in Congress,” which netted a round of applauds.
• Because voters supported Democrats who won the House in 2018, “we can put a balance of power on these abuses of power. We can protect cuts to health care. We can protect further taxpayer dollars going to tax cuts for the wealthiest.”
• Other than just the economy, he said people need to look at things they can’t count and quantify so easily, like peace in the world, joy and optimism for their kids, safety in their community.
• He advocated for “health care for all… a health care guarantee, that regardless of your income, regardless of your employer and regardless of your luck, you have access to health care… For me… that would be a ‘public option,’” he said. He added that there’s not enough competition and the government is not taking the responsibility it needs to provide affordable public health care insurance. He said he’d like a system where if you want to keep your own health insurance, you can. More competition will drive down the cost of the premiums and out-of-pocket costs for insurance, he said.
• On education, he said, “A child’s zip code should not determine their destiny.” He believes that federal dollars should be available to schools that need modernization and renovation the most. And about college, he said, “(it’s) too often associated with debt, when it should be associated with opportunity.”
• On the environment, he said, “I don’t call it climate change anymore. I think we should call it climate chaos.” He said the first thing he would do (as president) is to host in the United States a new “Climate Accord,” and invite every country to participate.
• On gun violence, he talked about the horror of Sandy Hook when he first came to Congress and offered that “thoughts and prayers is an alibi for doing nothing… This sick ritual of loss, grief, shock and then nothing.” He spoke with optimism about how Parkland victims pulled themselves together and marched to end gun violence and then Americans together defeated 17 NRA-endorsed candidates for office. “What you told us when you did that is that you were done negotiating now… Let’s also ban and buy back the 15 billion assault weapons that only belong on battlefields.”
Swalwell emphasized his campaign statement, “Go Big. Be Bold. Do Good.,” several times during his comments. “And doing good, to me, means the day after this president, we’re going to have to collaborate as Republicans and Democrats and Independents, to make reforms to our democracy, to fix what he’s exposed. The first year will be getting rid of the dirty maps… stripping down to the studs the ‘Citizens United’ ruling.”
Swalwell said in fixing the democracy, he would work with Republicans to do it. “I’m the son of two Republicans,” he said, and then getting a huge laugh from those gathered, he chided, “I go on Fox News just so my parents can see me on TV.”
As he wrapped up, Swalwell emphasized that he’s a “son of Iowa,” having been born in Sac City and raised in Algona for a time before his family eventually moved to California. He answered a few questions about dealing with the high cost of drugs, how Democrats will continue to fight the president’s subpoenas over the Mueller report, how he’ll fight to protect clean air and water and his support of veterans.
It was noted that any residents who wish to keep up on candidates visiting the local area should go to storydems.org for updates.