Over the course of the last year, our nation has been in the midst of a controversial presidential election. The media has been almost entirely focused on Donald Trump gaining the coveted 270 electoral votes needed in order to secure the White House. However, there is more to an election than just the president. California’s local elections also deserve attention, as they more directly affect our community.
In California, there were a number of elections. Ro Khanna was elected to Congress, and Kamala Harris was elected as the California senator. Citizens also voted on propositions. Marijuana was legalized, the death penalty was kept in place with regulation to speed up the process, and more taxation was put on tobacco. As for the presidential
election, California voted for Hillary Clinton with a 61.6 percent majority. Sacramento voted for Donald Trump, as did the majority of northern and central counties.
At Pinewood, the Khanna victory was an exciting event of the election as many of Pinewood’s own students were a part of the campaign. Seniors Priya Sundaresan and Kevin Duan worked on Khanna’s campaign.
“Quite honestly, it was the only saving grace of this election cycle, for me. It’s definitely neat to see a grassroots campaign team emerge victorious, and I think what worked in Ro’s favor was that Ro volunteers disproportionately had more contact with the voter demographic than volunteers of incumbent Mike Honda’s campaign,” Sundaresan said, “We knocked on more doors, distributed more lawn signs, and spoke to more people over the phone to get [them] on board with Ro’s policies and platform.”
The unexpected presidential election shocked the entire country, including many of the teachers at Pinewood.
“I was surprised. I thought that Hillary Clinton would win the election, maybe not by a big margin, but I believed that it was pretty much set in stone,” French teacher Michael Tetzlaff said.
U.S. history and government teacher Jamie Fields expressed this same shock when asked about the election results. Her class followed the election closely, as they were applying what they learned in class to the real world through discussing the election.
“I was mindblown. I follow the polls a lot, like the website fivethirtyeight, and I’ve been looking at these projections for four years. The polls got it so wrong. Almost every single poll said that Clinton would have more electoral votes by a landslide, and so I was completely mindblown,” Fields said.
Before the election took place, the senior government classes held a poll at upper campus in order to see who the most popular presidential candidate was among teachers and students. In general, most favored Hillary Clinton, although there were still a significant number of Donald Trump supporters.
Students at local schools have staged walk-outs to protest Trump’s victory. George Washington high school student Alexandra Elliot participated in one of these protests.
“The whole experience was so exciting and liberating. We started out with a small group protesting on the football field at my school and eventually more kids joined us. By the time we walked out of school, you couldn’t see the end of the sea of kids. We walked seven miles from our school to Pier 39, and while we were walking down Geary, cops were
escorting us… and kept telling us to keep walking and protesting, which I didn’t expect. I kept thinking about
how good it felt to voice my opinion and have it heard by so many people,”
Elliot said.
Principal Mark Gardner described his wish for Pinewood to be a safe haven for all opinions during a school assembly. Despite all of the craziness of this election, Pinewood is doing its best to remain a welcoming place for all