By Eva Barrows
For their first show of the year, MC Youth Presents, a high school intern produced series, brought together students with opposing political views in, “Young Political Activists in Palo Alto.” Conservative, Palo Alto Young Americans for Freedom, was represented by Pablo Ruiz and Yasmeen Gavande. Palo Alto students, Olivia Chang and Ori Gal voiced their opinions as liberal activists. The panel was moderated by Gunn High student Jenna Kaplan, a member of Palo Alto Youth in Government.
The students debated a wide variety of topics touching on the presidential election, political protests, student achievement gap and gun control. MC Youth Presents strives to provide a platform for peers to talk with each other and let the community know teens have carefully considered opinions. The panelists agreed that one result of President Trump’s election win was an opening for new political discourse. “I realized that I should pay attention to what is going on in our country,” says Olivia Chang. After last year’s election, Palo Alto students staged a walkout during school hours called “The Peace March.” While Ori Gal thought the march was a chance to come together and voice opinions, Pablo Ruiz didn’t feel safe as he wore Make America Great Again slogan apparel during the event.
The lively debate between Palo Alto high school students is available here. Youth Program Manager, Jesse Norfleet says, “The group was so excited about the show that they immediately decided the next show should be a follow-up.”