The youth commissions of the cities of Saratoga and Cupertino are putting on a "Politics and Pizza" event Wednesday night.
The event, a simulated presidential debate, is aimed at offering local youth a chance to see the electoral process on the local level. Campbell Vice Mayor Evan Low will be portraying President Barack Obama and Saratoga Mayor Chuck Page will be portraying Mitt Romney.
Members of the Fremont Union High School District will also be participating.
"It is important to get young people engaged in their electoral process," Low says. "They are not only the future, but also the present. The simulated debate will provide an opportunity for young people and other members of the public to have a chance to get a local feel of why a presidential election is important to them at the local level."
He was asked by the cities of Saratoga and Cupertino Youth Commissions to represent President Barack Obama. Low is also a member of the Democratic National Committee.
"I am excited to be around fellow neighbors and residents in Silicon Valley to have a discussion about the direction of our country and exchange ideas," he says. "Young people pay taxes and are innovative. It is important that we get young people engaged early so that they will continue to be productive members of our society."
Campbell does not currently have an active youth commission. Rusty Hammer, who was the youngest mayor at the age of 21, started the commission in 1973. Mayor Mike Kotowski has said he wants to reintroduce the Youth Advisory Commission.
Saratoga Mayor Chuck Page was invited to take part in the simulated debate as well. He says he's the only registered Republican in public office in the city of Saratoga.
"I love helping educate the kids," Page says. "It's important for the kids to interact with adults. The more we can get together and share with them, the better."
He says that he has seen the power that local youth can have on elections first hand.
"Students form opinions on things," he says. "When they’re educated opinions they can sway opinion. In 2010, during the Measure A campaign in Saratoga, a high school senior wrote an editorial in the high school paper and laid out all the logic why this measure would fail. That editorial changed the face of the election.
"More people began to understand it," Page says. "Kids can make a difference, even if they can’t vote."
As for the simulation, he says not preparing too much for the simulation and is relaxed about it all.
"Frankly I don’t know everything that Mitt stands for," Page says. "We’re going to try to keep it light and help to educate in the differences in ideology and talk about way partisan politics work."
The event takes place at next door to the Cupertino Library at Civic Plaza, 10350 Torre Ave., Cupertino, 7:00 p.m. There will be soft drinks and pizza for those that arrive early. Carpooling is encouraged as there isn't a lot of parking.