How are you involved in politics?

Although most Palo Alto High School students cannot vote, many still find ways to participate in public affairs. We asked students how they had been engaged in the democratic process.

“It starts with being informed. So I think it’s really important to read up on your local elections, state elections, as well as obviously national elections, and just general news and politics… I also think there are a lot of things that people our age can do, for example, phone banking and helping out with local campaigns, city council candidates, school board candidates… At Paly, we have the school board representatives. You can apply to be a representative on the board of your school. That really helps students get involved in local politics.”                            — NADIA SOBERG, junior

“I was a part of Vote16, which is a club that we had here at Paly, and so that’s a great way to get involved. They focus on lowering the voting age for municipal elections and local elections, and hopefully, someday we’ll get larger because I think a lot of people think that teenagers… can’t make their own decisions… [However,] there’s a lot of research backing the fact that 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds are capable to make their own decisions and have their own political opinions.”                                                                                                                                                                                                         — AANIKA DOSHI, senior

“You can get involved in campaigns and learn about the democratic process even when you’re underage. [Another way is] preparing for when you are above age and you can vote and also learning about the different political processes and people involved in politics. [On top of that], maybe getting involved in your community and [learning] how the democratic process works in your community.”                               — DAVID WU, freshman

“I normally go to protests, and I also support causes online. That’s mainly how I do it. … I’ve also talked with a lot of peers. A lot of them come to these events with me. … I did the Color Run to supporting the Trevor Project over the summer. I went to the Black Lives Matter protests all throughout 2020 that were close by, and I’ve gone to the LGBTQ+ parade in Seattle.”                                                                                                                                                                      — FINLEY CRAIG, senior


“You can organize events and talk about what you want to be changed in the government and society. I read the news so that I can understand what’s happening. I also ask my parents what they see in the news, their political opinions,  and who they might be voting for in not only city council elections, but also presidential elections.”                                                                                                                    — SAMARTH SETHI, sophomore