With the Fall 2020 elections just around the corner and the future of our country at stake, it is more crucial than ever to participate in democracy by voting in both local and national elections. After thorough research and deliberation, Verde Magazine is excited to announce our endorsement of Raven Malone and Cari Templeton for Palo Alto City Council, and Jennifer DiBrienza and Katie Causey for the Palo Alto Board of Education. We also endorse Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the presidential election with the hope that these candidates will work towards a brighter future. Lastly, our publication endorses California Proposition 16, California Proposition 18 and Measure O as we strive to foster a more equitable, just and representative community.

Raven Malone

Photo: Kate Skogen

Though Malone moved to Palo Alto less than a year ago, she has already established herself as an outspoken advocate for social justice through her activism in the local Black Lives Matter movement and offers a valuable outside perspective to the Council.

As a renter with roommates, Malone is tenacious in her push for affordable housing as she stands firm against exclusionary planning and zoning in Palo Alto. While fairly controversial, this is necessary for the creation of affordable housing and will benefit our community by making Palo Alto accessible to young professionals and lower-income families new to the area.

We believe that Malone is the young, progressive candidate we need in Palo Alto to push for change, especially with her visions for reforming the local police force, making public transportation more accessible and creating safer streets for Palo Alto residents.

Cari Templeton

Photo: Vivian Cromwell

Current Planning and Transportation Commission Chair Cari Templeton has been working in public service since 2018 and is a long-time advocate for the inclusion of women and racial minorities in public office.

We believe her experience in planning and zoning will aid in the development of infrastructure and affordable housing policies. Templeton prioritizes the need to reduce urban sprawl and to build more housing near transit. We hope that with Templeton on City Council, Palo Alto will become a welcoming space for everyone, not only those who can afford the skyrocketing cost of living. 

Additionally, Templeton’s detailed transportation plan will push Palo Alto towards a greener future; her proposal of fare-free student and senior public transit along with expanding shuttle service areas, incentivizing household gas-to-electric appliance upgrades and reducing permit fees for electric vehicles align with our hope that Palo Alto will become a leader in clean energy.

The need for more sustainable energy sources to combat climate change in our city is urgent, and Templeton, more than any other candidate, has plans to get us there.

Jennifer DiBrienza

Photo: Dana Underwood

Verde endorses incumbent Jennifer DiBrienza, whose work to create the PAUSD Title IX office, increase consent education and close the opportunity gap in our school district, mirrors our priorities as students. 

DiBrienza shows consistent commitment to combat the systemic racism in our school district during board meetings, and her willingness to listen and compromise is an essential quality for the development of ideas and policies that will benefit students, parents and teachers. 

Finally, DiBrienza’s unique position as both a former teacher and current district parent allows her to empathize with school staff members and parents to form a more complex perspective on school board issues. We hope that our readers re-elect DiBrienza, whose open communication strategy with students brings a crucial lens of transparency to the Board’s operations.

Katie Causey

Photo: Katie Causey

As a 2012 graduate of Palo Alto High School, Katie Causey attended Paly while suicide rates were at their peak, so she knows how it feels to be a student in the district during a time of crisis. Her advocacy on mental health issues, stemming from her observations as a former student, means she will prioritize student wellbeing, especially with the additional stress of the pandemic. 

Causey’s Title IX case management knowledge through her bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies will bring a much-needed perspective to PAUSD, given the District’s historically poor handling of Title IX cases. She is a fierce proponent for increasing student accessibility to Title IX resources and taking sexual assault and harassment culture in the district head-on.

Additionally, Causey’s strong focus on the PAUSD Promise and District Equity Scorecard, as well as examining systemic inequality within communities and schools, will help every student thrive. As demonstrated by her perfect attendance at every school board meeting for the past year, Causey’s commitment is what students deserve from their elected officials.

Joe Biden & Kamala Harris

Verde unanimously endorses former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris for the 2020 presidential election.

From economic recovery past the COVID-19 pandemic to healthcare, climate action and racial equity plans that will affect our generation for years to come, Biden prioritizes the issues that matter most to our staff and has the political experience to make beneficial decisions for all Americans.

In an election that will drastically impact our future, now is the time to unite and vote for a presidential candidate who will lead the nation forward.

Prop 16: Affirmative Action

Verde stands for equity in education and employment through the implementation of affirmative action; Proposition 16 aims to repeal a previous proposition passed in 1996 banning the use of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin as a factor in admission processes or employment. The consideration of these factors will help fight racial and gender-based discrimination in both schools and the workplace, expanding opportunities for people who have faced structural barriers.

Prop 18: Primary Voting for 17-Year-Olds

Our staff believes in strong civic engagement, a fair democracy and representation of youth in politics. Proposition 18, which would amend the California Constitution to allow 17-year-olds to vote in primary and special elections if they will turn 18 years old before the general election in November, is a logical step to achieving those goals. Lowering the voting age would not only give youth a powerful voice in decisions affecting their futures, but would also reflect the social and climate justice work that teenagers are doing on a daily basis and increase voter turnout to build lifelong habitual voters.

Measure O: PAUSD Parcel Tax

This year, our school district has lost $1.7 million as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, we need the funds from Measure O’s parcel tax to maintain our schools’ stellar academic and artistic programs. Additionally, the renewal of this parcel tax is crucial for sustaining teachers and programs that work towards closing the opportunity gap, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic and distance learning. In a time of uncertainty, it is critical that Palo Alto voters pass this measure to ensure a quality education for students.

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