Congresswoman Anna Eshoo speaks to upper school journalism program with message of encouragement


Irina Malyugina

Students of third period journalism were able to ask Representative Anna Eshoo questions. Eshoo talked about issues regarding the pandemic such as mental health and eviction moratoriums.

by Lucy Ge, Assistant News Editor

In a Zoom visit with upper school journalism students on May 7, Representative Anna Eshoo of California’s 18th congressional district delivered a message of optimism amidst the current pandemic and encouraged students to continue taking initiatives in their community. 

As Eshoo noted to Winged Post co-editor in chief Eric Fang (12), she was also a co-editor in chief of her high school newspaper. Eric served as the emcee for the meeting, calling on students to ask Eshoo their questions and also reading questions written by other upper school journalism members.

As she began speaking with students and answering their questions, Eshoo talked about the impact of remote learning on families lacking internet connectivity tools. To alleviate this problem, she and San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo recently added funds to support 20,000 students in gaining access to remote learning. 

Eshoo, who began her career in public service on the San Mateo County Board of supervisors in 1982 and went on to be elected as a representative in 1992, delivered a message of hope at the end of the visit, praising high school students for taking initiative and helping in the pandemic by making masks and sending cards to senior citizens.

“So many constituents have said to me over the years, especially during challenging times, ‘Where do you get your optimism from?’ And I always say the same thing: [I get my optimism] from my constituents,” Eshoo said. “I salute all of you, and I think that the United States of America is in store for really great things to come, because I see firsthand the sophistication, the interest, the knowledge, the thinking of young people and the values that you all carry.”

Eshoo also praised upper school journalism director Ellen Austin and teachers in general, having come from a family and background of service. 

“Thank you to the teachers,” she said. “Everyone in my family is a teacher my sister, my son-in-law, my daughter and my son. They all are sharing with me what the burdens are of this [pandemic] as we move forward.”

After the visit, journalism students who attended the meeting reflected on Eshoo’s statements. 

“I liked her message of optimism,” Winged Post co-lifestyle editor Nicole Tian (10) said. “She gave the sense that she was invested in her community and she seemed to be very aware about what the constituents in her district needed.”

Eric also appreciated her words of encouragement.

“A lot of what she said about education and devotion to youth participation in the political scene really resonated with me,” Eric said. “And I felt like she encouraged us as young journalists to continue doing what we do.”

Eshoo is running for re-election in November against Democratic candidate Rishi Kumar, who also came to speak to upper school journalism members in November 2019. Eshoo led with 61.7 percent of the votes in the primary election while Kumar received 16.3 percent of the votes. Other candidates Richard Fox, Phil Reynolds and Bob Goodwyn garnered 12.3 percent,  7.9 percent and 1.9 percent of the votes respectively.

Upper school journalism also interviewed Representative Ro Khanna of California’s 17th congressional district in October 2019, and the interview can be read here.

Additional reporting by Arushi Saxena and Varsha Rammohan.