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South Bay high school students host forum for Congressional candidates

High school students host forum for South Bay Congressional candidates
High school students host forum for South Bay Congressional candidates 03:54

PALO ALTO -- High school students hosted a forum in Palo Alto for candidates vying to fill outgoing Rep. Anna Eshoo's seat in Congress.

The forum which was co-hosted by The Los Altos Institution, a high school think tank, and the Palo Alto High School Associated Student Body, was the brainchild of 16-year-old Los Altos High School student Maulik Dhakal.

"This forum ... is the first-ever candidates forum for a primary election hosted by high school students in American history," Dhakal said.

Initially planned as a primary forum with incumbent congresswoman Eshoo, plans shifted when she dropped out of the race.

"We saw an opportunity, a new political landscape in this area, so we decided to jump in," Dhakal explained.

Working with fellow association member Travis Hodges, who moderated the forum, Dhakal and Hodges aimed to ensure voters and high school students alike could actively engage in the political process.

"We felt that voters had the right to know about who they are voting for and their options are and, even though we're in high school, we would step up and fill that gap," Hodges said. 

Hodges, who dreams of running for Congress one day, highlighted the importance of asking questions about issues related to housing and education.

"I'm a fan of policy and academia and researching to make sure policies implemented are able to impact our community effectively," aspiring lawyer Dhakal said.

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