What did you do to celebrate your 18th birthday? Chances are, you were in high school, contemplating college, and enjoying all the status that being a senior has to offer. If you're Woodside Priory School senior Monica Mallon, the first thing you do when you hit adulthood is announce your candidacy. Seriously — this high school senior running for office is a badass.
Mallon is seeking the District 5 board of supervisors position in Santa Clara County, the same county where Google and Facebook are based. She briefly highlighted the ingenuity of the region's tech companies in her YouTube announcement speech, praising their inventiveness and suggesting that the same type of creative thinking could transfer over to politics. "The Bay Area is the great place it is today because people believe in their ideas, challenge the status quo, and value innovation," Mallon says in her video. She continues:
You might think that I'm too young or too inexperienced and that it would be almost impossible for me to win. But for me, this isn't just about winning. Of course, I would love to win, but I'm also doing this to make a statement. Politics has become too much about money and special interests and less about representing people, and I think that needs to change.
What does the incumbent candidate she's running against think of her announcement? Supervisor Joe Simitian is entirely supportive and has been in a similar position as Mallon, having first ran for office at the young age of 22. He has spent over three decades in politics and has held the District 5 board of supervisors seat for two years, having previously served as senator for California's 11th district. In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Simitian had this to say about Mallon's political aspirations:
I am nothing but empathetic for younger voters who want to engage and want to engage as candidates. I think a thoughtful, well-informed young voice has the potential to bring a lot to a campaign. I don't know the young woman, but if there's a fresh take, that ought to be healthy for the process.
In addition to her political aspirations, Mallon is co-editor of her high school yearbook and holds a black belt in taekwondo. She is a prolific Youtube personality and records videos about her life, sharing everything from recipes to book reviews and personal vlogs. Her most recent video is about the San Jose Mercury News article she was featured in. According to her LinkedIn, she has been producing her own videos for four years and recently held an internship position at Cover Media Labs. Mallon is interested in social media, journalism, and communications opportunities. And, of course, politics.
Images: Monica Mallon/Youtube (1)