Local Dem delegate just 18-years-old

August 22, 2008 6:21:27 PM PDT
The youngest California delegate to the Democratic National Convention is an 18 year old from Palo Alto. Molly Kawahata is packing her bags and getting ready to go to Denver. She says her generation is about making change.

"I think that my generation, in particular, is really sick of partisan politics. I think that's really dominated the political scene for some time," says Kawahata.

Molly ran for and was elected to be an Obama delegate. She got involved in politics at Gunn High School in Palo Alto. She began working for Senator Obama last year as the national high school director of Obama for America. She even introduced Senator Obama at an event in San Francisco last November. She thinks democrats - both Clinton and Obama supporters - will come together in Denver.

"I think that everybody is backing the nominee at this point, and what were really working towards is unity in the party."

Former California State Controller Steve Westly was the youngest delegate for President Jimmy Carter in 1980. He sees young delegates like Molly as the future of the party.

"For a generation, young people felt they didn't or couldn't make a difference in the election. The sheer numbers that turned out clearly made the difference for Senator Obama," says Westly.

San Jose State University political science professor Melinda Jackson says maybe this November, that coveted, but sometime elusive group, will affect the election.

"All things are really pointing in the direction of the youth vote maybe actually fulfilling their promise this year. Young people make up 25 percent of the electorate now," says Jackson.

Molly wouldn't share her favorite vice presidential pick, but she plans to contact, and keep young voters informed, about the convention on her blog site from the convention floor.


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