Tag Archives: midterms

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. 

Screenshot 2018-10-12 at 12.53.41 PM

GRAPHIC CREDIT: Thom File, U.S. Census Bureau https://www.census.gov/newsroom/blogs/random-samplings/2017/05/voting_in_america.html

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 http://www.electproject.org/home/voter-turnout/demographics

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


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!







Evan Low addresses student journalists during Summit Tahoma press conference

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Sept. 27, student journalists from Summit Public School: Tahoma held a press conference to meet State Assemblymember Evan Low. See below for a compilation of their stories. More information about Rep. Low can be found on his website

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Staff photographers Justice White, Jannaya Garcia, Jasmine Lewis, Vianey Gonzaga, Amanda Ahn and Nick Inman  contributed photos to this slideshow.


Rep. Evan Low speaks about California’s environmental advancements

By Aakash Baliga, Noel Cintron, Parker Leifson and Damian Pimentel

Staff Writers

Assemblymember Evan Low has a passion for the environment, and he believes the future of the country is headed on a downward slope if steps aren’t taken to shift the nation’s energy system toward more renewable forms of energy.

On Sept. 27, California State Assemblymember Evan Low came to visit Summit Tahoma to answer questions at a student-led press conference held by the journalists of Summit News. He spoke about the state’s environment and about his belief that the nation’s current energy system is not sustainable enough to support our overall health.

Rep. Low explained in the interview: “If California was its own country, we would be the fifth largest” in global environmental health and economy. The Sacramento Bee shared some statistics that support his claim. According to Rep. Low, other states that don’t have sustainable systems are now asking California for strategies on how to make their states into clean ones.

Even though California has one of the cleanest environments, it still has its flaws, which is why Rep. Low advocates solutions to greater environmental issues. 

Rep. Low’s website states, “Clean air and clean water should be a fundamental human right, not a privilege.” Fossil fuels have been dominant in the country’s energy system for decades, and USA Today estimated the country only has 53.3 years of oil left to use, pushing the country to take action fast.

Rep. Low believes communities should work together to form a solution, rather than making the energy industry a war between non-renewable fuel companies and renewable energy companies. “I am focused on partnership over partisanship,” Rep. Low said in a statement after being appointed to the State Assembly.

On Rep. Low’s website, he explains how “as a freshman member of the Assembly, I hope to bring new energy, innovative leadership and a renewed commitment to core values of creating good-paying jobs, keeping government accountable and protecting our environment to the State Assembly.”

Rep. Low strives to protect the state’s environment and to make sure the environment is safe. To this day, he continues to uphold his beliefs and to ensure that California’s environment remains stable and its resources renewable.


Assemblymember Evan Low discusses challenges of being an LGBTQ+ politician

By Sam Leger, Josh Rivera, Polina Runova and Justice White

Staff Writers

State Assemblymember Evan Low has overcome discrimination because of his identity as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and he is now working to improve the lives of others who face similar challenges. He attended a press conference held at Summit Tahoma on Sept. 27.

“How have I faced discrimination? You name it,” Rep. Low stated during the press conference. Rep. Low began his career in politics with the intention of getting better representation and protection for minority groups.

Rep. Low has lived through the approval of Proposition 8, a statewide ballot proposition that made same-sex marriage illegal in California. “They eliminated my rights,” Rep. Low said. The proposition was declared invalid two years after its approval, and Rep. Low plans to prevent any repetition of it in the future.

Rep. Low further explained how members of the LGBTQ+ community are discriminated against. He brought up a few examples, such as biased healthcare, unfair business and the fact that blood drives won’t accept blood from gay men.

As a state assemblymember, Rep. Low aims to restrict conversion therapy that has been offered to members of the LGBTQ+ community. He explained that there has been no satisfactory data provided that proves the conversion therapy is beneficial. Instead, Rep. Low said that he intends to make healthcare accepting and that he is prepared to assist people of all genders.

An example can be found in Assembly Bill 2943, a bill Rep. Low helped pass. His website overview of the bill states that “Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) is a prohibited practice under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act.”

While still having many plans to improve the lives of the LGBTQ+ community, Rep. Low has already taken many steps toward equality. On his website, he lists AJR 22 as one of his legislative accomplishments for 2017. This bill “urges Secretary of Defense James Mattis to continue to allow transgender individuals to serve in the military” and states that the National Guard may not take any discriminatory actions against them.

Another bill that Rep. Low lists as one of his accomplishments is ARJ 16, a bill asking the president to express support for the members of the LGBTQ+ community located in the Chechen Republic and to denounce the government for allowing the severe discriminations to continue.

State Assemblymember Rep. Low spoke of many issues during his press conference and of his plans to help solve them. He admits that our country is not perfect, and he said, “There’s a reason why we have a Women’s March. There’s a reason why we have Gay Pride. There’s a reason why we have a March for our Lives. There’s a reason why we have Black Lives Matter. There’s a reason why we see other communities marching for immigration reform … These issues are still going on right as we speak.”


Assemblymember Evan Low fights for students’ education

By Jannaya Garcia, Priya Kaur, Keith Ng and Cyrus Shakeri

Staff Writers

Assemblymember Evan Low, representative of the 28th district in California, believes in improving higher education because he wants to improve employment prospects for young people in his community.

Rep. Low feels a higher level of education should be available to every individual. According to Rep. Low, “We aren’t spending enough on higher education.” He believes that in the present-day it is very hard to sufficiently live without a proper education.

“One needs to earn $275,000 to afford an average single-family home in this community,” Rep. Low said. “Teachers don’t make that much money; principals don’t make that much money. So what kind of community are we living in?”

Rep. Low visited Summit Public School: Tahoma on Sept. 27 and gave a press conference. He discussed steps he would like to see the state take toward better educational opportunities for individuals.

When asked about the state of the education system, Rep. Low declared, “We’ve starved our educational institutions.” Some argue that California has given up admission seats to out-of-state students, instead of prioritizing in-state students because out-of-state students pay more.

Rep. Low firmly believes California needs to allot more funding to education programs. “State budget reflects our state values.” If we put our focus on education, it shows California’s priority is its students, he explained. 

“[It costs] over $65,000 a year to incarcerate someone,” Rep. Low said. “Then we are educating someone for a year, which is about $20,000. We are building more prisons than we are universities.” He believes our state spends more money on things such as funding prisons, rather than investing it in education for the next generation.

As of right now, Rep. Low is working with his colleagues on the Committee on Higher Education. He explained, “We need to look at revenue restructuring and reform.” He believes the committee should put aside more money for education, which would be beneficial to future scholars.

“We need to build more universities and institutions for higher education and help financially fund.” Rep. Low’s ultimate goal for the future is that as many adolescents as possible in California have access to higher education, and he hopes to allow more opportunities to students.


Rep. Low strives to help others who face discrimination

By Omar El-bandrawy, Jasmine Lewis, Jesse San Miguel and Caden Vu

Staff Writers

Assemblymember Evan Low’s personal experience with discrimination motivates him to strive to help others who are different. He is a proud advocate for minority rights.

On Sept. 27, Rep. Low conducted a press conference at Summit Tahoma. When asked about immigration and the separation of families at the Mexican-American border, he answered, “Children should not be separated. Period. Full stop. There is no humanity in that.”

He believes that America is a “land of immigrants,” therefore we have an obligation to make sure we are “building bridges, not walls.” He stated that these immigrants are seeking asylum. For this reason, he does not support voter ID laws.

“Even if you get yourself educated and get a job, you won’t be able to live in these communities still.” Stating that a salary of $275,000 was necessary to afford a single family home, he remarked that even the governor doesn’t make that much money.

He also said that it was hard to get an education at an in-state college, due to significantly increased tuition and the lack of spending to lower those costs. In contrast, “We spend $65,000 a year to incarcerate someone,” he noted, adding that he feels that the state isn’t spending enough money on education. “Fundamentally, we need to fund education at a greater amount.”

Rep. Low brought up the fact that LGBTQ+ individuals in our community face discrimination. In his own experiences as a politician, he’s faced discrimination for being openly LGBT. As a citizen he faces discrimination, alongside other gay people who are not able to donate blood and not able to join the Boy Scouts. Rep. Low stated, “We should make a society where everyone has the same rights, regardless of identification.”

He also faced discrimination with the passing of Prop 8, the elimination of gay marriage by state law, which he said infringed upon his rights as a citizen. This has driven him to fight for LGBTQ+ rights, talking about the issues of conversion therapy.

Conversion therapy is a program that attempts to force LGBTQ+ children into a heterosexual orientation. When asked about the high rates of teen suicide among the transgender community, he stated that we should be “creating opportunities for all people.”

Rep. Low believes in equality for all people. “We need to be inclusive, not exclusive,” he said, explaining that he uses his position as an assemblymember to advocate for equal rights.


Rep. Evan Low shares his personal experience and views on immigration

By Yasmeen Ali, Vianey Gonzaga, Kaitlyn Kelley and Avi Mehra

Staff Writers

Assemblymember Evan Low’s personal experience with prejudice affects his views on immigration. He believes that discrimination based upon prior nationality is unjustified.

In the past, he was asked, “For the Olympics, do you root for the United States or Japan?” His response was, “I’m a fourth generation Chinese-American, not Japanese.”

On Sept. 27, Rep. Low visited Summit Tahoma to participate in a press conference with Summit News journalists. He shared stories about how he was racially profiled in the past and how this bias affects his stance on immigration.

“I’m perpetually seen as a foreigner,” Rep. Low said. “We have all been immigrants at some point in time.”

Despite his family being American for four generations, he still feels prejudice, as if he just immigrated. He believes that no one should be discriminated against, especially those who have just immigrated.

When he tells people, “Both [of my] grandparents served in World War II,” Rep. Low is often asked, “Well, what country did they serve for?”

Rep. Low also gave information about prejudice based upon geography in U.S. history, citing the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the California Alien Land Law. Although this discrimination happened more than 100 years ago, he explained that “in 2018 we are doing the same to those from Muslim majority countries.”

“We do not support voter ID laws,” Rep. Low said. “Just because I have U.S citizenship, does not mean I don’t have compassion. We need to start being more inclusive rather than exclusive.”

Because of the prejudice he has faced, Rep. Low believes that America needs “an equal opportunity for people to get the same quality of life.”


Assemblymember Evan Low works to improve the lives of immigrants and residents in the Bay Area

By Nick Inman, Aurylina Nguyen and Anthony Terkelsen

Staff Writers

Assemblymember Evan Low was born and raised in the Bay Area, and he has devoted his life to serving the community. He is trying to improve the lives of both immigrants and residents and to help them overcome the challenges they face.

Rep. Low wants to improve the lives of immigrants coming to the United States. During a press conference at Summit Tahoma on Sept. 27, he said “We build bridges, not walls.”

Rep. Low believes that our country is made up of immigrants. Rep. Low said, “We’ve all been immigrants a time before” and stated that he believes in the positive impact immigrants can have on the community.

Rep. Low also acknowledged the United States’ dark past with immigration by talking about the Alien Land Law that prevented immigration from Asian countries and other “undesirable immigrants.”

Rep. Low has faced discrimination throughout his life and political career. Rep. Low said “you name it,” when asked about the discrimination he has faced. He wants to help immigrants overcome discrimination themselves.

Rep. Low gave an example of the discrimination immigrants face today. He talked about President Trump’s Muslim Ban as an obvious case of discrimination based on religion.

Rep. Low also talked about wanting to include more young people in politics. He intends to do this by lowering the voting age to 17 with ACA 10. He states on his website: “An engaged electorate is crucial for a healthy democracy. We want to encourage everyone to vote early and often.”

Rep. Low began his political career by being elected to Campbell City Council in 2006. He was the first Asian American City Councilperson in Campbell history and was voted the mayor in 2010.

Assemblymember Evan Low was the youngest openly LGBTQ+ mayor in the country at the age of 26. During his time as Mayor, Rep. Low worked to improve local government as described by his website: “While serving on Campbell’s City Council, he helped balance the city budget without eliminating vital services and increase government transparency by streaming City Council meetings online.”

In 2014 Rep. Low was elected to State Representative and became the youngest Asian American representative in state history. He represents Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, West San Jose, Cambrian and Almaden.

Rep. Low talked about why he wanted to be a part of the state legislature representing San Jose, explaining that he got involved because he felt like the government wasn’t working for younger people, also identifying himself as a millennial.


Representative Low talks about community at Summit Tahoma press conference

By Amanda Ahn, William Butler, Erick Godinez, Andrea Martinez and Jacob Silva

Staff Writers

Assemblymember Evan Low, a native of the San Jose area, understands the struggles of locals and works to improve them. Rep. Low was born and raised in San Jose and has lived in the community for 35 years.

On Sept. 27, Rep. Evan Low visited Summit Public School: Tahoma for a press conference with journalism students.

Rep. Low shared how his father was able to hold one job in San Jose and still send his four children to college. Now, with the inflated housing price in San Jose, Rep. Low said, “Even if you get an education you will not be able to live in this community.” A 2018 study from Zillow states “the median home value in San Jose is $1,089,500.”

Rep. Low’s website states, “Assemblymember Low is a lifelong resident of Silicon Valley and has been a regional community leader. His work within the community and deep knowledge of issues local residents faced led him to run for Campbell City Council in 2006.”

Identifying as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Rep. Low works to make improvements by fighting for rights for those individuals. Rep. Low said, “We should not convert the LGBT, appreciate who they are, and create greater opportunities.”

As part of his efforts to make a better San Jose community, Rep. Low wants to have better education for students. “We need to fully fund on higher education.” He also talked about how much it costs to incarcerate people versus sending a student to school. He explained how it costs “over $65,000 a year to incarcerate someone.” He compared that to educating someone for a year, which costs “about $20,000.”

Rep. Low pushed to create a welcoming environment for immigrants when he stated, “We’re a land of immigrants.” Instead of prohibiting immigration into the country, he said that he wants to “build bridges, not walls.”

Students debate their role in the upcoming midterm elections

By Nethan Sivarapu and Maxwell Taniguchi-King

Tahoma Multimedia Editors

While much of the world’s attention has been drawn toward the approaching midterm elections in November, a vast body of individuals seems to have been overlooked: students. We began exploring this set of voices as the midterms neared.

To investigate said student views, we set out to question various students at Summit Public School: Tahoma. As the individuals were questioned, many admitted to being uninformed about the elections.

The midterm elections on Nov. 6 will play a large role in politics for years to come. Usa.gov reports all 435 seats of the house, one-third of all senators, 36 state governors, three U.S. territory governors and many mayoral elections are on the line. With this amount of potential change, significant adjustments are expected.

Two major elections taking place during the midterms have grabbed attention: the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Senators hold six-year terms, with two senators being elected for every state. Currently, the Senate holds 51 Republicans, 47 Democrats and two Independents.

The House of Representatives consists of 435 positions, with each state assigned a specific amount of seats based on population. The current House consists of 238 Republicans, 193 Democrats and six vacant seats.

Evident through these numbers, Republicans hold the 115th Congress. This might change, though, as the midterms advance and bring the 116th Congress. According to FiveThirtyEight, although the Senate is predicted to remain under Republican control, House predictions favor Democrats with a four in five likelihood. This amount of potential change generated curiosity in what students think of the elections.

Approaching students at Summit Tahoma with different questions regarding the elections created a chance to understand the beliefs that students hold. Following these interviews, attention was brought to what other people think of students and their role in the midterms. To address this, we began locating an alternate, non-student, point of view.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, a politician raised in the Bay Area, represents Silicon Valley. During a press conference at Summit Tahoma, Rep. Lofgren answered a few questions relating to our student interviews. These questions reflected our previous interviews and introduced a new angle on the topic.

This video documents our interviews as we investigate students’ influence on politics and their opinions regarding the midterm elections in November:

Midterm elections are coming up: Here’s how to make an informed decision

By Deandra Han, Jennifer Rico, Charlie Stattion, Karla Tran and Jasmine Villegas

Staff Writers

The process of voting for candidates who believe in our ideals of government is difficult, and it can be challenging to identify who is the right candidate. In this video, a few staff members from Summit Public School: Rainier talk about voting and what obstacles stood in their way when choosing their candidates. They discuss what makes a good or bad candidate and what difficulties there might be in voting.

See below for a video about Summit Rainier staff members voting:

What are midterm elections?

Every four years, presidential candidates run for office. Midway through the president’s term (every two years), members of the House of Representatives run for office. Senators campaign to be elected again every six years; although, only one-third of the Senate runs for re-election every two years in rotational periods. The legislative elections that occur halfway through a president’s term are referred to as midterm elections.

These midterm elections are important because the main conflict comes down between the Democrats and the Republicans. As of right now, the midterm election on Nov. 6 could affect which side the House of Representatives leans toward, and that could affect what happens to our current presidential administration, as well. In this midterm election, “flipping the House” could be a major turn-around for the Democratic Party in terms of which party takes control of the House of Representatives.

How to vote:

In California specifically, in order to vote, you have to be a citizen of the United States, a California resident and 18 years or older. You might face restrictions based on state laws regarding felony convictions or mental incompetence. If you meet all requirements, then you are almost ready.

The next step is to complete a voter application and submit it online or via email. An alternate way to register to vote is through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Either way, your application must be submitted by Oct. 22, 15 days before Nov. 6, if you want to vote in the midterms.

Once you have finished filling out the voter application and have submitted all of your information, an official from the area you live in will either confirm your voter registration or ask for you to elaborate on it. After this is completed, your voter registration will have been submitted, and you are ready to go.

What to look for in a candidate:

However, before completing the entire voting process, the first thing you need to decide is who you would like to vote for. In many situations, people would like to vote but do not know who to vote for. As a result, many times, people end up voting for someone randomly, instead of looking into what kind of candidate they are or researching what they stand for. Here are some things to do before deciding who to vote for in an election.

According to USA.gov, when you are trying to find more information on a candidate you’re interested in, you can find strengths about the candidate by researching their positions on certain issues and their leadership abilities. One way you can research more on the candidate you are interested in is by watching debates. By watching debates, you can learn more about your candidate and the issues they fight for before you make your final decision.

You should also research all the candidates who are running and compare or contrast them. You can do so by comparing the pros and cons of each candidate. The article also states, “A candidate’s voting history is public. If the candidate is running for federal office as a representative or senator, you can find their voting record on Congress.gov. For those who have held state office, you can contact your state legislature website.” Here’s the site for California.

Once you have done your research, you can find out more about the candidates by visiting the sites mentioned above. You can find out who is on the ballot in your district using this sample ballot tool from www.ballotpedia.org. After doing some research and studying or comparing different candidates, you will then have a better idea of who you are interested in voting for.