Monthly Archives: October 2018

Everest students become first-time voters

By Jennifer Valencia 

Everest Editor-in-Chief

On Nov. 6, the midterm elections for the United States will occur. Voters from all around the country will be deciding on pressing issues that matter greatly to each individual state. For some people going to the polling station, it will be their first time voting.

In the Everest community, some students are eligible to vote this year and will be able to put their political opinions into action. This generation of students has the drive and the need to vote for their beliefs.

The topic of voting isn’t something a lot of young adults think about. It’s shown statistically that a very small amount of them go out to vote in every election. Although now there’s a small number of young voters, the number is slowly starting to rise. 

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GRAPHIC CREDIT: Thom File, U.S. Census Bureau

When speaking about politics, many have their own beliefs and opinions. In the U.S. government, there is a great division between people. This division allows a lot more people to feel justified in having strong opinions about what’s going on in the country politically.

Everest senior Ethan Ezray is now of legal age to vote in this upcoming November elections. Ezray in the past has been vocal about his opinion on current topics, but only to friends and peers. Now he’s going to voice those opinions at the polls.


Everest senior Ethan Ezray

When asking Ezray how he decided to vote, he said he wanted to vote when Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton were running in 2016: “I would totally vote for something, but I can’t yet.”

Ezray, regarding his opinion on voting once reaching the legal age, said, “I think it should be their personal opinion. I mean voting is nice, but it’s a privilege not a right … if you force someone to vote and they don’t want to, then they’ll probably just write in Harambe for president or something. Like, just because someone has the right to do something doesn’t mean you have to – like people have the right to privacy.”

The opinion of Ezray is something that is currently seen widely in this country. It’s important to many to vote; but, at the end of the day, it’s up to the person if they want to go through with it.

Another senior at Everest, Jacob Rattner, will be voting in this midterm election. Rattner has a large amount of knowledge about politics and has spoken to his peers previously about current issues.


Everest senior Jacob Rattner

Rattner said he decided to vote this midterm election because “I’m 18, so my parents were pretty adamant about voting, as well as most of my family.”

Rattner’s family is passionate about their right to vote. Their viewpoint is more progressive considering not all families share the same ideal.

Compared to Ezray, Rattner is also different in the sense that politics are spoken at his home. He explained that his family discussed politics “a lot. My parents and I don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of policies.”

The tendency of not seeing “eye-to-eye” in politics with parents is something that commonly happens. Historically, the younger generation is more commonly known to agree with newer ideologies and the older generation tends to have the same ideology as before.

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GRAPHIC CREDIT: Dr. Michael McDonald, University of Florida Department of Political Science

The midterm elections are on Nov. 6. Those who would like to vote through the mail must send their ballot 15 days before the election.

If a 16 or 17-year-old wants to vote in the future, they can always pre-register to vote for future elections. Not being eligible to vote in this November election means they might be by the next election. Those eligible can pre-register on this site


Community Service course launches at Everest

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Delaney Jures, teacher of the Community Service Expeditions course

By Karla Santana

Everest Photo Editor

Delaney Jures is the teacher for the new Community Service Expeditions course at Everest Public High School. This course is about finding non-profit organizations to work with and to volunteer at. When asked about what she wants students to get out of the class, Ms. Jures said, “I want them to be able to find value in community service and feel empowered by going out and volunteering and changing their community that they live in.”

Here’s what students had to say about their new Expeditions course:


Everest freshman Melissa Benitez

When asked why she joined the Community Service course, Everest freshman Melissa Benitez said, “I joined this Expeditions course because I thought it would be a good experience to help others.”



Everest freshman Esmeralda Villagomez


When asked what the Community Service class is about, Everest freshman Esmeralda Villagomez said, “It’s mostly about you learning about community service and what community service is and how you can help others and what you can get involved in.” She is looking forward to getting the hands-on experience and actually helping people out.  

Students performed cleanup work around the Everest campus:


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The Community Service Expeditions class works to improve their school community:


Dr. Ford’s testimony cultivates both support and backlash

By Rylee Storms

Everest Staff Editor

There are many interpretations of what Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s Senate testimony means, but it undoubtedly brought awareness to sexual assault survivors and what problems regarding sexual assault are still prominent in America.

On Sept. 27, psychologist Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill. Dr. Ford testified during hearings for the now confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh regarding her claims that he sexually assaulted her in high school.


Dr. Christine Blasey Ford PHOTO CREDIT: U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee

Since the testimony, Dr. Ford has gained support from many women and men, including celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, who made a post on Instagram saying, “Dr. Ford, I am in awe of your bravery.”

At Everest Public High School in Redwood City, the testimony affected many students who watch the news. Everest sophomore Nikola Self gave her opinion on Dr. Ford’s testimony, saying, “I believe that she is telling the truth, but in order to take down Brett Kavanaugh she needs more evidence.”

Another student who voiced their opinion is Everest sophomore Isabel Cline, who said, “I think it was powerful, and it displays how much women have been through and how much power men have over women. I think it represents sexual assault survivors coming forward and having their truth known.” She later added, “I think she’s telling the truth.”

Everest senior Juan Espido gave a short, but honest, statement: “I didn’t listen to the whole thing, but it sounded genuine. I believe her.”

Teachers were also affected by Dr. Ford’s allegations. Bea Daily is an Expeditions teacher at Everest who teaches Human Sexuality. She said, “I think that she’s completely telling the truth. It’s completely loyal and credible that she came forward 30 years later. She decided to share an event that has obviously shaped her into the person she is. She’s standing up for women and smashing the patriarchy. Sexual assault is alive and well.”

Emmalee Austin is the teacher of A.P. US History at Everest. Ms. Austin, while having not watched much of the testimony, said, “I think we should always believe survivors. I don’t think someone would come forward if they weren’t telling the truth.”

Aside from voiced support, Dr. Ford’s testimony inspired many women to come forward about their own experiences with sexual assault. RAINN, an organization that helps survivors of sexual assault, put out an article saying, “Between Thursday, the day of the hearing, and Sunday, RAINN saw a 338 percent increase in hotline traffic.”

The increase in calls made it possible for RAINN to help a record number of survivors. Compared to September 2017, their hotline saw an increase of about 10,000 this September.

Women are often doubted when they come forward about sexual assault. Many people assume that they are doing it for money, to sabotage someone, etc. Dr. Ford faced a vicious backlash after coming forward; death threats and harassment forced her out of her home. 

The Democratic and Republican parties have very different opinions regarding both testimonies. The Republican Party supports Justice Kavanaugh and they wanted him to be confirmed. Many Republicans stated that they did not believe Dr. Ford’s testimony, and they disregarded her credibility. 

The differing opinions Dr. Ford has received show that the country is still politically divided. They also show that the United States has a lot of progress to make with our reaction to sexual assault.

While Dr. Ford’s testimony is mostly backed by Democrats, there are Republicans who believe her. This is talked about in an article by The New York Times that says, “Emily McLaughlin, a sophomore at the University of Maine who was a treasurer for the College Republicans, said she believed Dr. Blasey, but wanted to hear from Judge Kavanaugh.”


Chuck Grassley listens as Dr. Ford testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. PHOTO CREDIT: Flickr

Justice Kavanaugh testified the same day and received support from Republicans such as Senator Lindsey Graham who said, “This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics. And if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you’ve done to this guy.”

The differing opinions Dr. Ford has received show that the country is still politically divided.

Every year in the U.S. around 321,500 people over the age of 12 are victims of sexual assault or rape. Female victims are much more common than men.

According to RAINN, “82 percent of all juvenile victims are female. 90 percent of adult rape victims are female.”

Many survivors of sexual assault do not report what happened out of embarrassment and fear. Victims also frequently suffer from PTSD and might even contemplate suicide.

As for why Dr. Ford didn’t come forward, she testified that she was scared of getting in trouble for attending a party underage. She said she was also scared due to there being alcohol at the party.

Dr. Ford’s actions of coming forward and accusing someone so powerful encouraged others to stand up for themselves. She helped women realize that sexual assault isn’t their fault.

Others, such as President Trump, do not believe Dr. Ford, and say her story is inconsistent. Many have responded to him, reminding him that it has been 36 years since the assault.

During the testimony, there were definitely a few details Dr. Ford couldn’t remember. However, what she did remember is something much more important than who took her home.


Brett Kavanaugh, now confirmed as Supreme Court Justice, smiles for photographers. PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Ford, in response to a question asked by Senator Dianne Feinstein, made it clear that she is sure Justice Kavanaugh is the one who assaulted her. She explained that there is no possibility of it having been someone else.

Now confirmed, Justice Kavanaugh still denies all allegations made by Dr. Ford. Regardless of whether he is or isn’t guilty, the allegations have brought light to the standards Americans hold for who they think should be serving in the country’s highest offices.


Sexual assault allegations complicate Kavanaugh confirmation

Kavanaugh hearing stirs controversy

The Trump Administration is planning to move $266 million into detention centers

By Molly Pigot

Everest Editor-in-Chief

President Trump has made it clear since the beginning of his campaign that he would crack down on immigration policy in the United States. Recent budgeting decisions have reflected how the Trump Administration is set on following through on those promises.

The Department of Health and Human Services, the department which oversees those who are detained, is planning on moving $266 million from other programs into funding the detention centers.

What are detention centers?

Detention centers are the facilities in which undocumented immigrants are held to be prosecuted for entering the United States illegally. According to the Global Detention Project, there are about 30,000 people in these centers per day.     


GRAPHIC CREDIT: Freedom for Immigrants (ADP – Average Daily Population)

These detention centers, located all over the United States, cost about $133.99 per adult per day and $319 per family per day. Because of this high cost and the increasing number of immigrants being detained, the government has been scrambling to find funding for this program.

Another major contribution to the increased need for funding has been the implementation of a “Zero Tolerance” policy. This policy, announced by Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States, on April 6, 2018, is a strict enforcement of prosecuting those who enter the United States illegally. This policy has caused thousands of children to be separated from their parents and taken into the custody of HHS.


GRAPHIC CREDIT: Freedom for Immigrants

All of these factors combined have caused the federal spending on detention centers to skyrocket, which is why the HHS is needing to budget for more money.

The Trump Administration is taking money from Head Start ($16.7 million), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ($16.7 million), the National Cancer Institute ($13.3 million), the National Institutes of Heath ($87.3 million), and other programs.   

Why do budgeting negotiations like this happen?

Budgeting negotiations like this are not uncommon. The federal government is constantly moving money around to areas they feel need it.

An example of another major budgeting negotiation that was just finalized was the decision to give the U.S. military $716 billion for 2019. This was a budgeting decision passed by the Senate and, in modern American history, it is considered one of the largest budgets for defense.       

What does this mean?

The Trump Administration is prioritizing the enforcement of immigration policy over other beneficial programs. This is a reflection of how one of the Trump Administration’s main concerns is their immigration policy.

This also means that the Trump Administration is not backing down from enforcing their immigration policy. They most likely wouldn’t be putting so much money into the detention centers if they were planning on abandoning the program in six months. If anything, they will most likely use the money to enforce the “Zero Tolerance” policy even more and to expand these detention centers.

Why should voters care?

Although one might not realize this, voters actually have a voice in how decisions like this are made. Voters can prevent events similar to this from happening by voting in the November midterms.


Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar

This budgeting decision was made by Alex Azar, the secretary of the HHS who was approved to this position by the Senate. The November midterms are when the people vote for politicians from their state to be elected to the Senate. By voting for potential senators who reflect voters’ views, the beliefs of the people are better represented in the federal government. 

What can be done to prevent this from happening in the future?

The most impactful action any one person can take is voting in the upcoming election on Nov. 6. Voting lets the government know what the people want, and it is the best way to get peoples’ voices heard.  If possible, go out and vote to make your voice heard!







Adam Rak seeks election to San Carlos City Council

By Molly Pigot

Everest Editor-in-Chief

In San Carlos, City Council members serve for four years. This year, three council members’ terms are ending, and three new members will be elected on Nov. 4. There are now five new candidates up for election, with one of them being Adam Rak.


City Council Candidate Adam Rak PHOTO CREDIT:

Adam Rak is a San Carlos local of 19 years who has served many local organizations, including the San Carlos School Board and the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Rak has also been very involved in politics outside of California, as he was a legislative aide for Barbara Kennelley in Washington, D.C.

He is now running for City Council in hopes of helping mold San Carlos in the midst of a time of change.

Mr. Rak came to Everest Public High School on Oct. 5 and had a discussion with students about why he decided to run and what his platform is. This discussion gave insight into what he will provide the council if he is elected.

A major point of our discussion was housing in San Carlos. Recently, the town has been building a lot of new housing in an effort to draw in more people to move to the small town. Mr. Rak was very passionate about making housing affordable for people moving in.

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Adam Rak with the Everest Advanced Multimedia Political Journalism class

A big issue in the town has been the housing market. Most houses sell for over $1,000,000, which makes San Carlos a very expensive place to live. Mr. Rak wants to make sure that housing is affordable for people moving into town.

Mr. Rak mentioned that a major influence behind wanting to make housing affordable was so that teachers and school faculty members can continue to live close to the schools they teach at. He said teachers are not paid enough and, because of that, living in San Carlos can be difficult.

Mr. Rak believes the town has a very good school system. Their elementary and middle schools consist of high-quality teachers and faculty members that are passionate about education, and they are a necessity to the success of their students, he argued. 

Because of how important the school faculty is and how little they are paid (the average salary for the district is around $70,000 a year), Mr. Rak wants to ensure that San Carlos can be a home to these people who are shaping the future of our communities. He says he will do this by making sure that there is affordable housing available to educators and school faculty so that they can continue to work in the San Carlos School District.   


Adam Rak discusses his platform with the Everest journalism class. 

Mr. Rak is also very passionate about maintaining San Carlos’ small town feel. San Carlos has been known as a small town and a welcoming space to small businesses and families. The Bay Area has been going through a lot of change as it has become a hub for the tech industry, and Mr. Rak wants to ensure that San Carlos can still be a small town through all of this change.

Mr. Rak says that he will accomplish this by lowering the 50-foot threshold on businesses on Laurel Street to a  two-story threshold. He also wants to keep small businesses open because they add a lot of value to the overall small town feel.

San Carlos is a very special place to Mr. Rak, and he is willing to do whatever he can to serve the community to the best of his abilities. He said, “If I have to be the squeaky wheel, I will be the squeaky wheel.”  

Mr. Rak is very passionate about San Carlos and is looking forward to serving it. To learn more about him, visit his website:

Sunnyvale City Council candidates visit Summit Denali

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Oct. 4, four candidates for Sunnyvale City Council visited Summit Public School: Denali to speak with student journalists. See below for a compilation of their stories. To learn more about the candidates (pictured left to right in the photo above), visit their websites: Gustav Larsson (incumbent, Seat 1); Henry Alexander III (challenger, Seat 1); Glenn Hendricks (incumbent, Seat 2) and Josh Grossman (challenger, Seat 2)

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Staff Photographers Justin Casillas, Mark Haiko, Kamal Lakisic, Hazel Rothrock, Evangeline Si and Michael Stavnitser contributed photos to this slideshow. 


Sunnyvale City Council candidates create a sustainable Sunnyvale

By Jamil Abed, Mark Haiko, Ellen Hu and Angela Hwang

Staff Writers

The candidates for Sunnyvale City Council agree sustainability is a vital part of the city’s future. Improving citywide traffic, they concur, is a large part of that goal.

On Oct. 4, Sunnyvale City Council candidates Glenn Hendricks, Josh Grossman, Henry Alexander III and Gustav Larsson visited Summit Denali to participate in a student-led press conference hosted by journalists from Summit News.  

Mr. Larsson, the Seat One incumbent, said Sunnyvale has already launched effective clean energy programs. “The question is,” he asked, “how can we put it to use better?”

The city council members voted in favor of joining the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Grant in December 2016. The program was launched in early April 2017 in partnership with PG&E. The grant provides Sunnyvale city residents with 100 percent renewable energy in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions in the Bay Area.

While discussing green energy, Mr. Larsson said, “I was really proud that Sunnyvale actually led the push in the Santa Clara County area to do that.” The hope of both himself and fellow incumbent Mr. Hendricks is that other Bay Area communities will take Sunnyvale’s lead and endeavor to create a cleaner environment.  

According to the EPA, cars and additional methods of transportation account for nearly 28.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. The candidates discussed how these means of transportation affect both the heavy traffic and the carbon emissions produced in the city. For that reason, it is an issue that is at the focus of their campaigns.    

Current Mayor Glenn Hendricks said that there are traffic demand management programs which work with businesses to mitigate the number of cars on the road. As a part of these programs, he said that buses take “30 to 40“ cars out of traffic.

Another option is to encourage more people to travel using public transportation or methods that do not produce greenhouse emissions. “The other thing that I think is very interesting is modeling after cities like San Jose who have those rentable bicycles or motorized scooters,” Mr. Alexander expressed. “It’s a little more fun, and it also helps the environment.”

According to the EPA, 11 percent of 2016 greenhouse gas emissions from homes and buildings “arise primarily from fossil fuels burned for heat, the use of certain products that contain greenhouse gases, and the handling of waste.”

The candidates agree that replacing electricity with natural gas in buildings is a large step in Sunnyvale’s path towards a greener future. “On newer construction,” Mr. Hendricks said, “we’re going to be seeing some changes happening at a policy level about that going forward.”

However, financial sustainability must also be taken into account when considering the implementation of these environmentally sustainable practices. “It’s great to have a balanced budget, and that’s really critical, but if we sacrifice our quality of life to achieve that balanced budget we’ve gotta really rethink our strategy,” Mr. Grossman said.

The candidates believe that incentivizing other forms of green energy will effectively integrate these systems into Sunnyvale. Mr. Alexander said, “I will look into how we can incentive not only apartment buildings but also businesses to use things like solar energy or solar panels within their buildings.”

The Bay Area has followed Sunnyvale in taking a step towards a more sustainable future. “San Francisco is also looking into setting up a community choice energy activation to get their energy from cleaner sources,” Mr. Larsson said. “But we’ve already done that.”  


Sunnyvale City Council candidates discuss school shootings

By Hazel Rothrock, Nadia Tatishcheva and Alex Twoy

Staff Writers

The Sunnyvale City Council candidates have strong feelings about school safety and gun violence. They feel the need to address mental health and how to keep students safe.

“Sunnyvale has been named the safest city in the U.S. the third year in a row, so we’re really proud of that, but safest city does not mean crime-free, and that’s something that we have to stay on top of … because we don’t want to say, ‘Oh, it’s never gonna happen here.’ Things can happen here, and we need to be ready for that,” said Gustav Larsson, the Seat 1 incumbent, when asked about school shootings and what the City Council was doing to prevent them.

On Oct. 4, four City Council candidates, Gustav Larsson, Henry Alexander III, Glenn Hendricks, and Josh Grossman, visited Summit Denali for a press conference. They discussed many important issues, including what could be done by the council to lessen the possibility of school shootings.

Glenn Hendricks, the Seat 2 incumbent and Mayor of Sunnyvale, talked about meeting the students on the steps of City Hall after one of the shootings earlier this year: “I told them, ‘Hey, thank you for coming out; you’re doing the right thing by raising your voice and showing you’re concerned about what this is.’ We talked about the things that we’re planning to do in the city.”

Some of the candidates also expressed concern about the mental health of students and how that might be tied to the increasing number of school shootings that have been seen in the United States in recent years.

Mr. Hendricks talked about working with current supervisors of the city to “try and get more money for mental health for people,” as “mental health is not necessarily something that is a budgeted item in the city.”

Mr. Larsson talked about collaboration within different levels of government and agencies, stating that “the school districts have one set of responsibilities, but mental health, for example, is really at the county level. Police and fire officers are at the city level. We all have to work together, communicate together.”

Henry Alexander III, the Seat 1 challenger, said he felt like the students were under too much stress, proposing that “the schools should do a better job at educating the children about … scaling back some. Because everything is so … information overload, and for me it’s overwhelming, and my brain is, I’d like to say it’s developed … when you’re growing up that’s just probably just a little bit too much.”

The candidates also discussed gun control and how that might be related to preventing school shootings and improving school safety.

Josh Grossman, the Seat 2 challenger, said that he sympathized with the students who had to deal with school shootings and the aftermath of them, arguing that the way we need to fix school shootings is “common sense gun control at the national level. We need to have mental health checks, and we need to work forward to do that.” Mr. Grossman encouraged the students of Summit Denali to get more involved and to vote when they are old enough in order to solve the issue America has with gun control.

Mr. Hendricks spoke about encouraging more states to follow in California’s footsteps, seeing as California has some of the strictest gun laws. He also talked about some of the things being done by the city of Sunnyvale to prevent gun violence, including the gun buyback program that was conducted on the last weekend of September 2018. Mr. Hendricks explained, “567 guns were turned in. And these are guns that people didn’t want anymore, they’re not in their house; they no longer have the opportunity to be stolen and get into criminal’s hands.”

Mr. Alexander backed up his fellow candidates, agreeing that “gun laws need to be explored” from a national level.

The candidates agreed that school shootings are a major problem and that there are many things that can be done in order to prevent more from happening, including stricter gun laws and investing more resources in the mental health of students.


Candidates explain their main goals for the Sunnyvale City Council

By Charles Cassel, Kyle Kobetsky, Soren Ryan-Jensen and Evangeline Si

Staff Writers

Sunnyvale City Council candidates value the quality of life in the city. As incumbent Glenn Hendricks puts it, “We need to have long-term financial stability in order to afford our sewage systems and parks.”

On Oct. 4, four local Sunnyvale City Council candidates visited Summit Denali to answer questions about their views and plans as city council members.

One important issue that was discussed by all candidates was quality of life for the citizens of Sunnyvale.

Challenger Henry Alexander III mainly focused on improving the quality of life for Sunnyvale through adding more open spaces and improving traffic.

Mr. Hendricks agreed that quality of life is an important problem to look at. However, he thinks that the city of Sunnyvale needs to focus on their long-term financial stability first. He backed up his claim by pointing out that you need money to fund these quality of life improvements.

On the subject of finances, challenger Josh Grossman led the discussion by pointing out that the board is rapidly approving new businesses to help the financial situation and that is causing people in mobile homes to leave Sunnyvale due to high rents and having their lots being replaced with luxury condos.

Incumbent Gustav Larsson brought up his ideas to help solve the issues of traffic, finances, quality of life and the housing crisis. His idea was to add more housing in proximity to VTA transport and workplaces. He pointed out how this would work because the housing would make more money for the city and putting people closer to workplaces and transportation would mean that less traffic would be on the road. Also, less traffic means a higher quality of life, and, of course, adding housing would help the housing crisis.

While on the subject of quality of life, they all agreed that community safety is important. When asked about gun control, the incumbent, Mr. Hendricks, and the challenger, Mr.  Grossman, for Seat #2 responded with a similar answer regarding mental health checkups and common sense gun control. However, Mr. Alexander responded differently to the question of how to help with this issue of gun control. “It’s an info overload,” he stated. Mr. Alexander claimed that electronic information is overloading the minds of the students, putting more stress on their mental health.

When the candidates were asked, “How do you think you can solve school shootings?” they responded with answers that mostly corresponded with each other. Most of the candidates said we need more gun control laws, though each had their own differences. Mr. Hendricks talked about how you can’t really fix school shootings, although to stop most of them you need stricter gun control laws and mental health checks.

Mr. Grossman said in response to the school shootings question that you need common sense, and you need to have gun control laws and “mental health checkups at a national level.” Mr. Alexander said that schools need to take a step back and focus on helping students deal with stress and that “gun laws need to be explored.”

In response to the question about school shootings, Mr. Larsson said he wanted to make the city “ready for these issues” and steered away from giving a direct answer. However, when asked about getting the city down to zero emissions, he answered, “We have already started that,” and talked about how Sunnyvale is ahead of other cities but it needs to put its completely clean energy to better use and residents need more efficient electronics.

All the candidates had similar stories of getting into politics through local issues. Mr. Grossman was School Board president; after leaving that office, he missed local politics and decided to run for a different position. Mr. Larsson got into politics by making a petition to change something in the city, and he feels he made a difference. Mr. Alexander tried to save a park in his neighbor by mobilizing 10,000 residents, yet still lost. Finally, Mr. Hendricks got into politics by going to a local meeting, only to get ignored. All of the city council candidates had similar ways of getting into politics, through local issues, Despite their similarities, they have different takes on the same issues.


City Council candidates explain major traffic issues in the Bay

By Ibrahim Ayub, Jacob Gaylord, Mateo Gonzalez Rivera and Michael Stavnitser

Staff Writers

Four candidates for Sunnyvale City Council are very concerned about the amount of traffic in the city.

On Oct. 4, four City Council members came to visit Summit Denali to answer questions at a student-led press conference hosted by the journalists at Summit News.

Challenger Josh Grossman spoke about how the traffic has gotten really bad in the Bay Area. He said if he becomes elected he will try and help fix the major traffic problem.

Mr. Grossman said, “I was taking my daughter to work on Oct. 4 and noticed the amount of traffic has increased considerably over the last year.” He and the other city council candidates were concerned about the amount of traffic, and they said they think it is due to the number of big developments that are coming into the Bay Area.

For example, they just finished building the new Apple campus on Wolfe Road, and there is now considerably more traffic, Mr. Grossman said. We need to find a way to lessen the amount of traffic before it comes to a big problem, he explained.

The City Council candidates said they think big companies like Apple and Google should provide buses to lessen the amount of traffic in the city of Sunnyvale, especially since those companies keep building new campuses and increasing the amount of traffic.

For example, if Apple and Google would get buses, then that would reduce traffic by having fewer cars on the road, Mr. Grossman said. If people would carpool, then that would also reduce traffic.

On his website, Mr. Grossman states, “I’m running to ensure we can work to ensure a good quality of life in Sunnyvale by mandating Better Traffic Management.”

Challenger Henry Alexander III also said he wants to manage traffic lights to make the flow of traffic better.

On his website, Mr. Alexander states, “We must manage traffic congestion now because of serious impacts to safety and quality of life in our city.”

Incumbent Gustav Larsson said he also wants traffic to be improved in Sunnyvale. To improve traffic, he believes that fewer people should drive their cars and that they could walk or bike or take public transit instead.

On his website, Mr. Larsson states, “We implemented a state-of-the-art intelligent traffic signal system.”

Incumbent Glenn Hendricks added that he also wants to help improve the traffic in Sunnyvale to help the community be a better place.

On his website, Mr. Hendricks states that he wants to “implement a holistic view of traffic for the city of Sunnyvale and the state of California.”


City Council candidates propose ways to improve their city

By Andrea Castilleros and Joseph Gutierrez

Staff Writers

Sunnyvale City Council candidates are concerned about housing problems in the community.

On Oct. 4, four Sunnyvale City Council candidates came to Summit Denali to talk about how they can improve their city. In Seat 1, the incumbent Gustav Larsson is running against challenger Henry Alexander III. In Seat 2, the incumbent Glenn Hendricks is running against challenger Josh Grossman.

Candidates discussed what got them into politics in the first place. They all had the same concept of solving the problems in their communities.

“I had heard from families who can afford to buy a house and still don’t get picked because of the competition,” Mr. Larsson said.

According to, the average rate for home value in Sunnyvale is $1,914,600; that rate has gone up by 21.8 percent over the past year and will likely go up by 10 percent next year.  

Part of the issue, Mr. Larsson said, is how hard it is for community members to get to work. “We should use housing near jobs or near close transportation to jobs,” he said.

Another issue, for Mr. Grossman, is that available space is really shrinking in the community. “We should stop building because it will get too crowded in Sunnyvale,” he said.  

According to, Sunnyvale City Councilmember Michael Goldman said, “Well, there’s no unanimity. Basically what I hear is most people saying, ‘Hey, we’re full, I can’t get out of my driveway, there are too many businesses cramming people into offices.’”

All four of these City Council candidates want to see Sunnyvale prosper and become healthy; they will work to help the communities around them. They will aim to make Sunnyvale a better place to live and work.


Sunnyvale City Council candidates believe in the importance of finances

By Jacob Jasper, Kamal Lakisic and Saad Qazi

Staff Writers

Finances are the core of a city’s government, and Sunnyvale City Council candidates believe they must consolidate the city’s finances before moving onto other ventures. Candidate discussion at an Oct. 4 press conference, held at Summit Denali, revolved around the sustainable financial situation of the city of Sunnyvale.

The press conference included the incumbent and challenger candidates for Sunnyvale City Council Seats 1 and 2, and it allowed students to interact with local politicians. The candidates discussed with students a multitude of city problems like traffic, education, environment, and, central to our analysis, finances.

When asked what the central path toward progress was for the City of Sunnyvale, Mayor Glenn Hendricks said improving the stability of the city’s finances would go a long way toward the city’s development and its ability to tackle all challenges with the best interests of the people in mind: “There are a lot of things we have to work on, but I think finances are at the core, in order to bring quality of life,” Mr. Hendricks said.

Later on in the press conference, when opposing views on finances were brought up, Mr. Hendricks reiterated the core issue of finances and how they are crucial for the city’s development. According to his thinking, where the city must start is “with the long term finances of the city. We have to be sustainable. We have to be able to pay for all the core services that people want to have.”

Challenger Josh Grossman also believes in the importance of finances, but he also focused on other aspects of the City of Sunnyvale: “It’s great to have a balanced budget, and that’s really critical, but if we sacrifice our quality of life … so I want to have both.” Despite his intent to improve the quality of life for residents, he agrees that the budget must be taken into account and kept stable.

Challenger Henry Alexander III discussed the openness of the budget and the city’s transparent use of finances, an issue he sees as prevalent. “Be it budgets, be it the amount people are being paid, be it the amount people are giving finance … for campaigns, these are things I think people care about.”

The remaining incumbent candidate, Gustav Larsson, discussed the importance of the city’s drive toward clean energy. Despite not touching on financial aspects of such a venture, he described the benefits it would entail — giving it an importance above many other projects the City of Sunnyvale was considering. “Actually, the City of Sunnyvale has already taken the initiative…on bringing clean energy.”


Sunnyvale City Council candidates are concerned about quality of life 

By Thomas Maiello, Brandon Raybon and Alan Rivera

Staff Writers

Sunnyvale City Council candidates are concerned that the city’s quality of life is being challenged by many social and environmental issues.

On Oct. 4, Sunnyvale City Council candidates Glenn Hendricks, Gustav Larsson, Josh Grossman and Henry Alexander III attended a press conference held by Summit Denali student journalists.

Sunnyvale is about the size of Mountain View and Cupertino combined, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. According to the Sunnyvale website and the Cupertino website, Sunnyvale has 22 parks, while Cupertino has over 30 parks.

“The most important thing is the quality of life. The quality of life has decreased ever since the developments have started to increase. We need more parks to improve the quality of life,” Mr. Alexander said.

In December 2016, the Sunnyvale City Council voted in favor of the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Act. According to the Mercury News,“The move means 100 percent of the city’s energy will come from renewable, carbon-free energy sources come April.”

Clean energy has been a focus for the City Council when discussing the quality of life. “We brought clean energy to Sunnyvale; we want other cities in Santa Clara County to participate in that,” Mr. Hendricks said.

Other candidates were concerned that development in Sunnyvale has affected quality of life for residents.

“I got involved in politics because I remember people getting kicked out of a mobile home park for a six dwelling unit to be put in its place,” Mr. Grossman said. “We need to make sure that companies like Apple and Google pay their share in our city. Currently Apple and Google together pay $24,000 to the city of Sunnyvale for being here. We want to make sure that large companies pay their share.”


Marc Berman discusses his State Assembly work

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Oct. 5, student journalists from Summit Public School: Denali held a press conference to meet State Assemblymember Marc Berman. See below for a compilation of their stories. More information about Rep. Berman can be found on his website

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Staff photographers Justin Casillas, Jacob Gaylord, Mark Haiko, Jacob Jasper, Kyle Kobetsky, Alan Rivera and Hazel Rothrock contributed photos to this slideshow. 


California Assemblymember Marc Berman believes the California housing crisis is a larger issue

By Jamil Abed, Mark Haiko, Ellen Hu and Angela Hwang

Staff Writers

Assemblymember Marc Berman believes that the housing crisis in California acts as the basis for many other unsolved issues.

Rep. Berman said that California’s various issues are “all important.” However, the lack of affordable and available housing acts as the “foundation for a lot of the other problems.” Homelessness and a lack of well-funded education systems are just a few of those issues.

Marc Berman, the 24 District Assembly representative of California, visited Summit Denali on Oct. 5 to take part in a press conference hosted by Summit News student journalists.   

According to The San Francisco Chronicle, the real estate markets in Fremont, San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco are among the most competitive cities for homebuyers in the United States. The article’s source, Redfin, explains that these prices are likely due to the abundance of technology-based companies in the area and their tendencies to bring employees into these cities.  

“The cost of living in this area is incredibly high. That puts a lot of pressure on us and it means that a lot of people have to leave and life further and further away,” Rep. Berman said. “So now our housing crisis has affected transportation, it’s affected the environment, and education.”

The housing issue has also led to a higher rate of homelessness. According to The California State Senate, California’s 2017 homeless population accounted for 25 percent of the nation’s homeless population. This number rose from 22 percent in 2016.

Rep. Berman believes that in order to combat this issue, California must provide the homeless population with the resources they’ll need to get back on their feet. “We need to give [homeless citizens] the wraparound services: the mental health services, the job training, the food, so that they can stay housed and they can hopefully eventually become productive members of society,” Rep. Berman said. “But it really all starts with housing.”

Many issues in California require long-term solutions, including the housing crisis and a lack of funding for education. Rep. Berman believes that tax reform will fix these economic challenges. Rep. Berman said, “The real answer to stabilizing school funding in California is comprehensive tax reform because school funding is so unstable because our tax system is so volatile.”

According to an editorial from the Los Angeles Times, “California has the sixth largest economy in the world yet ranks 45th nationally in the percentage of taxable income spent on education.” However, recent steps were taken by California Governor Jerry Brown that aim to increase these funds.     

“All of those are important issues,” Rep. Berman said. “But I think housing and the cost of housing is the first domino that creates all of the other issues.”


Marc Berman explains problems caused by the housing crisis

By Ibrahim Ayub, Jacob Gaylord, Mateo Gonzalez Rivera and Michael Stavnitser

Staff Writers

California State Assemblymember Marc Berman believes that the housing crisis in California is a major problem.

On Oct. 5, Rep. Marc Berman came to visit Summit Denali to answer questions at a student-led press conference led by the journalists of Summit News.

Rep. Berman spoke about the high cost of housing in the state. “This problem is the foundation for many of the other problems we are facing. And living in this area is very, very expensive. So housing is one of the major problems California is facing.”

Rep. Berman explained that “the cost of living in this area is very high, which makes people move farther and farther away.”

People moving away causes a lot of pollution because they are coming to work from far away which causes another problem. “They drive to work here because most have jobs that are here, but we don’t have houses that are in their wanted budget, which then causes another problem, which is pollution,” he added.

The housing crisis also leads to another problem, which is that more people become homeless due to the lack of money for housing, he argued.

“We need housing to fix the homelessness. If we have more affordable housing, then that can also fix the homelessness problem.”


Marc Berman discusses his work for the State Assembly

By Hazel Rothrock, Nadia Tatishcheva, and Alex Twoy

Staff Writers

State Assemblymember Marc Berman is focused on helping marginalized communities.

“We need to make sure that everybody understands that our diversity is the biggest strength that California has, and the different backgrounds and the different experiences that we bring to solving issues make our solutions that much stronger,” Rep. Berman said while discussing what can be done to end discrimination.

On Oct. 5, State Assemblymember Marc Berman visited Summit Denali for a press conference. He discussed helping sexual assault survivors, youth who struggle with mental health issues, members of the LGBTQ+ community and the homeless, among other important issues.

When asked to share some of the projects he has worked on in the past, Rep. Berman discussed the work he has done for sexual assault survivors, including creating the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, which “tries to reduce the obstacles to reporting an attack and also tries to make the process a lot better for the survivors as they go through the justice system.”

He also added that this year he “extended the statute of limitations for survivors of sexual assault to be able to bring a lawsuit in civil court and receive monetary damages for the impacts of the attack” from two years to 10.

Sharing his reasoning for the change, Rep. Berman added, “The impact of sexual assault … on the survivor is really terrible, and it can take a long time for somebody to … recover from the impacts of the act and then feel comfortable speaking about it and reporting on it – so as we’ve learned more and more about this issue, it’s important that our justice system … provide for an environment where people can go through that process of recovering and then still be able to get the money damages that they should get.”

Rep. Berman also talked about the work he did for youth mental health and suicide prevention, with the help of the state budget: “In this year’s budget, I got $1.7 million for the state to identify the best online youth mental health and suicide prevention training that’s available and then buy enough subscriptions to make it available to every middle school and high school in the state for free.”

When asked about what he could do to help the homeless, he also discussed working on mental health, among other factors that could be explored in order to help fix homelessness: “We need to get them into stable housing first and get a stable roof over their head, but … we can’t then just give them the keys and walk away; we need to give them the wrap-around services, the mental health services, the job training, the food, so that they can stay housed and they can hopefully, eventually, become productive members of society.”

Additionally, when asked about whether he has done work that benefits the LGBTQ+ community, Rep. Berman discussed working with the Trevor Project for training for suicide prevention for students. He also added that “40 percent of Bay Area homeless youth or California homeless youth are LGBT, and we know that a lot of LGBTQ+ youth struggle the most with mental health issues, as they’re, you know, kind of, getting comfortable with who they are and being who they are, and so we need to provide more resources and be even more aware of that, so that they feel more welcome in the community as anybody else does.”

When asked about marginalized communities and what could be done to end discrimination, Rep. Berman stated that he and his colleagues will keep passing policies that protect immigrant communities and “keep on emphasizing the fact that this is a good thing and not a bad thing and also keep on passing laws that make it illegal to discriminate.”

When asked about the immigration policies currently being passed, Rep. Berman stated that he thinks “we’re passing good ones in California, and they’re passing bad ones in Washington, D.C.” Elaborating further, he shared his family’s history of immigration, and ended with “immigrants come to America because they want a better life and a safer life than where they are coming from, and that’s something we should support; that’s something we need to embrace; that’s something that makes America a stronger place.”

Rep. Berman shared a lot of ideas about making laws that support marginalized people. While discussing empathy, he said, “It’s important to respect each other and the differences that we have.”


Marc Berman explains his platform

By Charles Cassel, Kyle Kobetsky, Soren Ryan-Jensen, Evangeline Si

Staff Writers

California State Assemblymember Marc Berman values affordable housing, election security and protections for sexual assault survivors. When asked what issue is most important, he stated, “We have a lot of issues.” On Oct. 5, Rep. Marc Berman visited Summit Denali to answer questions about his position and what he wants to do in office.

When talking about his most important issues, he leaned the most toward housing, saying, “Housing has impacted the health of the environment and education.”  

Rep. Marc Berman claimed housing is affecting education in the state; through the lack of housing, teachers have to live farther away, giving them less time to work after school with students and run clubs. On the subject of school funding, he responded, “School funding is so unstable because the majority of our money comes from the volatile income tax,” adding that we need to put this money in reserves.

Talking about California’s homelessness situation, Rep. Marc Berman stated that we need to give homeless people food after we give them housing so that they can permanently reside there, and that “we need to improve the mental health services to the homeless.”

When asked about what role large companies have in the communities they reside in, he said, “They should play a big role,” and added that “Apple is terrible when it comes to social corporate responsibilities.”

On the subject of global warming, Rep. Marc Berman stated that “the national government is not helping.” On the same topic, Rep. Marc Berman said, “Texas and coal states are dead wrong about having a good economy and being good to the environment … we are right; they are wrong.”

Reaching the issue of immigration and national government policies, Rep. Marc Berman said, “I think that we are passing good ones in California, and they are passing bad ones in D.C”. He proceeded to say, “Both my parents are immigrants … Our diversity makes our state so much stronger … we will keep passing laws to protect our immigrants.”

When he was asked what the most important bill he has passed was, he didn’t definitively say which; however, he did say, “I think the work I have done with elections and sexual assault survivors… I’ve done a lot of work with youth mental health.”

According to Rep. Marc Berman, he got into politics because growing up in Palo Alto showed him his privileges compared to friends he played competitive soccer with, and one of his relatives being a senator allowed him the opportunity to familiarize himself with politics. He also said that his role models are “my parents, Congressman Mike Honda and Senator Tom Daschle.”

When asked what his greatest strength is, he responded “listening and empathy.” Connecting back to his role model Tom Daschle, he also pointed out that you need empathy in any leader.


Marc Berman works to support youth

By Andrea Castilleros and Joseph Gutierrez

Staff Writers

State Assemblymember Marc Berman would like to better protect the youth in his community through improved mental health services.

“In this year’s budget, I got $1.7 million for the state to identify the best online youth mental health and suicide prevention training that is available and then buy enough subscriptions to make it available for every middle school and high school student in the state for free,” Rep. Berman said.

According to, “in 2013-2015, there were 7.9 suicides per 100,000 California youth ages 15-24.” Rep. Berman believes that support from community members can help teens dealing with mental health issues. “We need trainers for the prevention of suicide and depression,” he said.

He added that the goal is to help youth recover from trauma. “It’s important that we recover from that and we understand that is a part of growing up,” Rep. Berman said.  “We need embrace failure.”

The homeless population is also a large demographic who suffer from mental health issues.  “A lot of our homeless are going through mental health problems, so we need to get them into stable housing, but we can’t just then give them a key and walk away. We have to give them the wraparound services,” Rep. Berman said.

“More than one-quarter of the total homeless population nationwide live in California,” The New York Times states. This accounts for roughly 114,000 people.


Assemblymember Marc Berman believes California’s economy relies on economic change

By Thomas Maiello, Brandon Raybon and Alan Rivera

Staff Writers

State Assemblymember Marc Berman believes that the current California tax system is creating economic inequality which shows through the education system.

On Oct. 5, Rep. Berman was interviewed by Summit Denali students during a press conference. “We rely too heavily on income tax and not on property tax,” he said.

“Our tax system is so volatile because we rely too heavily on income tax and not enough on things like sales tax or property tax,” Rep. Berman said. “When you have a strong economy you get a lot of income tax, and when you have a poor economy you get very little income tax and capital gains tax.”

Rep. Berman saw the effects of the California tax system, the largest being economic inequality, on different communities during his childhood. “I got interested in politics because when I played competitive soccer; I got to look at the kids around me and see how they were less fortunate than me,” he said. “It made me upset that I was able to receive a good education but other kids around me didn’t, even though it was just bad luck that got them where they were.”

The inequality in Rep. Berman’s childhood community, he argued, is the result of the California tax system. “When you get a downturn in the economy, the state gets way less money, and our school funding is kind of tied as a percentage of a state funding,” he explained.  

According to the California Department of Education, the education budget makes up 40 percent of the state budget. “The state budget directs how education funds are to be spent,” the department’s website explains.

Rep. Berman believes that one way to solve this issue is to store money in reserves. “The responsible thing is to put money in reserves because we know that there is going to be an economic downturn.”


Assemblymember Marc Berman discusses his government’s stances

By Jacob Jasper, Kamal Lakisic and Saad Qazi

Staff Writers

According to State Assemblymember Marc Berman, the state of California will continue to act independently from the federal government regarding issues such as climate change and immigration.

Rep. Berman said the federal government’s backtracking policies are “not making it easy for us … We think of ourselves as a shadow government … in opposition to federal policies.” Rep. Berman describes his party’s positions as opposition to many of the policies taken by the new administration, especially on issues of climate change and immigration.

His views echo those of the DNC: “These principles stand in sharp contrast to the Republicans, who have nominated as the standard-bearer for their party and their candidate for President a man who seeks to appeal to Americans’ basest differences, rather than our better natures.”

Rep. Berman said, when addressing his party’s policy on climate change in opposition to federal stance: “[We want to] establish our goal …100 percent renewable energy by 2025.” Here, Rep. Berman is reflective of the general state policy in California regarding climate change.

As follows, the Democratic Party is seen to hold some of those same views: “We will reduce methane emissions from all oil and gas production and transportation by at least 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 through common-sense standards for both new and existing sources and by repairing and replacing thousands of miles of leaky pipes. This will both protect our climate and create thousands of good-paying jobs.”  

When defending his party’s policy on climate regulation measures, Rep. Berman said the policy “creates good jobs and also improves the environment.” He also stated that his government acted contrary to pressure from other states who felt such efforts were not a proper use of the California budget.

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