The California presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has announced that Molly Kawahata, a senior at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, beat out peers from across Northern California to win the campaign’s essay contest “What it would mean to me if Barack Obama were elected our next President.”
As the contest’s winner, Kawahata will be among the speakers at the candidate’s grassroots fundraiser this Wednesday evening at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium — an event the campaign says will be his last visit to Northern California until after the Iowa caucuses.
The essay contest entries were judged by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon of Berkeley, who with his wife, author Ayelet Waldman, had cosponsored an Obama fundraiser in Oakland back in June. “All these essays show the powerful sense of connection young people feel to Barack Obama, because he is directly addressing their deepest concerns, their most powerful hopes, and the boundless idealism that is their greatest resource,” Chabon said in a news release.
Kawahata, formerly a student member of the Palo Alto Unified School District Board, has been involved with the Obama campaign’s grassroots organizing in Anna Eshoo‘s 14th Congressional District.