In what was a nationally watched race, Dublin City Councilman and Alameda County prosecutor Eric Swalwell ended the Congressional career of longtime incumbent Pete Stark by winning the 15th Congressional District race.

If you followed the campaign, you saw Swalwell acting like the Energizer Bunny, holding scores of meetings in homes and businesses throughout the district -- seemingly on a daily basis -- while Stark was noticeably absent from the local area.

Swalwell recognizes that his is a meteoric rise in politics. To go from being a City Council member to a member of Congress just does not happen every day.

Swalwell told me that the next few weeks, which includes an intense two-week orientation for new members of Congress, will be "like drinking from a fire hose" but that he is very excited to take it on.

"My first goal is to make sure we deliver responsive constituent services while also getting to work to support the policies we promoted on the campaign trail," he says.

Swalwell considers himself more of a moderate Democrat, which given the currently wide divide between the GOP and the Dems, might be advantageous for actually seeing Congress getting work done.

Regardless, Swalwell says he knows from whence he came and promises to keep his hometown -- and the rest of the district -- well in mind as he takes on his new role.


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"I'll never forget Dublin, where I was raised. The people of Dublin deserve a representative who will show up and work hard to enable policies that create new, local jobs while making sure we have an education system that prepares our children to compete in this changing, global economy."

BEST Buddies: Dublin High garnered some national news coverage a couple of years ago when the student body selected Rachel Cooperstein, a student and member of the cheer squad with Down syndrome, as their homecoming queen. A few skeptics at the time labeled it as a one-time event by students who would normally bully an individual such as Rachel.

It turns out the school is receiving praise for its ongoing attitude of inclusiveness, including from Susan Houghton, executive director of the Ohlone College Foundation, and the parent of Robby, a special-needs student at the school.

"Robby is a moderate functioning autistic. He's not going to seek out someone to ask if they'll be his friend but will react positively if someone comes up to him and asks him to hang out."

Those who attended Dublin High football games last year might remember the evening when Robby served as the drum major while leading the band onto the field. That gesture, says Houghton, was both hugely important for her son and completely in character for Dublin High.

"I've seen changes to Robby when a student tries to reach out directly. It started last year when band students started seeing him on campus and said 'hi' to him. He then started going to band fundraisers and pasta nights because he felt like he had a relationship," Houghton said.

Most recently, the school has begun a program called "Best Buddies," which allows special-needs kids to have another student to help them feel more a part of the school and much less isolated.

The brainchild of a DHS Leadership class student, the "Best Buddies" get together a couple of times a week for lunch, text one another and generally help to ensure that the special-needs student feels a part of the student body.

"This (Best Buddies) program is just one example of how great Dublin High School is with both the students and administration when it comes to special-needs children."

Robby, who is 20, will leaving Dublin High's friendly confines after this year. Susan Houghton's current task is to find a program and setting that can help Robby become even more independent and build on the social skills and confidence that her son received while at Dublin High.

Dublin Arsenal: A quick note of kudos to the Dublin Arsenal U10 "Camo Kids" soccer team, which competed in the 14th Annual Halloween "Kick or Treat" classic in Dublin.

The kids picked the nickname as a result of their relationship with former U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Andy Bowen, who helped teach the kids some real-life lessons and also applied a little camouflage face paint before their match.

Contact Alan Elias at elias2000@sbcglobal.net.

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