Palo Alto High School's News and Features Publication

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

From the editors: A tribute to 2004

Asha Kulkarni
CAN YOU NAME THEM ALL? — Verde covers from 2004 (left) and 2024 (right). Art Director Jeslyn Chen created the 2024 cover.

By the time this issue is published, Super Tuesday will be two weeks away. On that day, 15 U.S. states (including California) host their primaries. Along with the presidential race, 2024 is a momentous year for California elections. For the first time in decades, both a seat to represent California in the U.S. Senate and the 16th U.S. congressional district are open. 

We felt it was important to highlight these political events at a time when, according to US News & World Report, 49% of young Americans believe the nation is on the wrong track. When crafting stories for this issue, we wondered what our classmates believed about politics. 

The Verde staff of 2004 had the same question. Twenty years ago, they set out to answer it, surveying almost 300 members of the Palo Alto High School student body. This cycle, we recreated a modified version of that survey, handing out paper ballots to four social studies classes per grade. We counted 390 student responses by hand and are excited to present and analyze the results in “Where do we stand?” 

We thank and appreciate the Verde staff members who facilitated these surveys, the students who thoughtfully filled out the survey, the teachers who gave up class time for this project, and the help of Social Studies Instructional Lead Mary Sano to coordinate this effort. And of course, we appreciate the thorough example set by the 2004 staff of Verde. 

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The survey wasn’t the only idea we “borrowed” from 20 years ago — we also put a retro spin on their magazine cover to highlight recognizable national figures, local politicians, and Paly students who engage with the political process. (It’s okay if you can’t name them all. By the end of this issue, we hope you can!)

Several other stories from our magazine also highlight political issues.   

For instance, in “Eleven voices, one seat” staff writer Niaz Alasti and Profiles Editor Lia Cardwell profile candidates in the 16th district congressional race.

In addition to races for national office, a local election holds relevance for Paly. Former Paly journalist Bilal Mahmood is campaigning to unseat Dean Preston, the current San Francisco District 5 Supervisor. In “Alum for election,” Launch Editor Ella Hwang and staff writer Augustus Soedarmono reveal Mahmood’s goals for the city and the lessons he learned from his time on The Paly Voice. 

As student journalists, one of the lessons we’ve learned is that young people can and should voice their opinions about the nation’s political future. In an editorial, we do just that, weighing the potential repercussions of a presidential race between a 77-year-old and an 81-year-old, and examining why electing older politicians poses problems for the younger generations. 

We recognize that most of the student body is not yet eligible to vote. But we hope that this issue will make readers, whether you’re a Paly student or have voted for longer than we’ve been alive, a little more informed on the political processes that will shape your lives for years to come. Here’s to March 5!

On the Cover

Nine figures are depicted on the cover created by Art Director Jeslyn Chen — five local or national political figures and three Palo Alto High School students. This cover was inspired by a cover from an October 2004 issue of Verde. Answers to who is on the cover are here

Find the full PDF of our magazine (Volume 25 Issue 3) on Issuu.