Candidates connect with kids

By Mia Babasyan and Fiona Richter

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign isn’t too big to talk to high school students. When The Olympian asked what makes the Democratic nominee the best choice for young people, Alec Dash from Clinton’s San Francisco campaign office answered.

“Hillary is the one person in the race who has a vision for the future,” said Dash, who emphasized that Clinton’s main priorities are people, democracy and her encouragement of diversity. “She understands the need for change and is knowledgeable on how to make it happen” he said.

The 2016 election is on everyone’s mind, but it’s not easy for young people to feel involved with it, as most can’t yet vote. The Olympian reached out to candidates in the races for president, Congress and state Assembly to ask why students should support them.

Congressman Eric Swalwell, who is running for re-election, encouraged young people to pay attention and get involved with the 2016 election.

“I’m glad you guys are working to cover this critical election. People should care. Because how we live and love is at stake,” said Swalwell, a Democrat. “If you want to live free, and not fear being kicked out of the country because the color of your skin, you should probably vote. If you want to make sure that laws that protect same sex marriage stay in place and let you love who you love, you should probably vote.”

To connect CVHS with the election, The Olympian posed the same question to campaign staff of presidential candidates Donald Trump, a Republican, Jill Stein of the Green Party and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. None of the candidates nor their staff members commented, though Stein’s staff referred the newspaper to a campaign web site and video.

Nor did The Olympian hear from House of Representatives candidate Danny Turner, a Republican, or Senate candidates Loretta Sanchez and Kamala Harris, both Democrats.

But Assembly candidates Bill Quirk and Luis Wong both responded.

“I am honored to represent Castro Valley in the State Legislature,” said incumbent Democratic Assemblyman Quirk. ”I believe I am the best choice for young voters…
I have fought successfully to increase funding for K-12 and higher education. I am dedicated to making California an example to the rest of the USA and the world on how to reduce greenhouse gases and pollution, while keeping the economy strong. I have worked to make California smart on crime by emphasizing rehabilitation so our terrible recidivism rate can be reduced.”

Wong, the Republican Assembly candidate, also sent a statement. “If I am elected to the State Assembly, I am committed to help our youth become productive members of our community by working in the areas of job creation, education and business and community development,” he wrote.

Wong expressed this stance on education: “I support continuing and increasing the amount of student loans to help our students complete their college education, while at the same time, working to rein in the cost of public education. By ensuring that public funds are spent on students in the classroom and hiring and retaining qualified educators, and not outlandish administrative costs, we can work to reduce costs.”

The election takes place on Nov. 8.