Marshall Woodmansee is expected to become the youngest candidate in the 2020 local elections after he filed papers on Wednesday to run for San Jose City Council.
In an interview with San José Spotlight, Woodmansee said he wants to inspire the youth in his community to know they hold the power in deciding their future.
“That power has to be enacted now,” Woodmansee said. “We can no longer wait for someone else to do something.”
Woodmansee, 18, is running for City Council in District 6, making him the third candidate vying to unseat Councilmember Dev Davis. The other contenders are Jake Tonkel and Andrew Boone.
Despite his young age, Woodmansee said he’s been involved in local politics and government for years, including a six month internship with Assemblymember Ash Kalra. After finishing one year at De Anza College, he started a youth organization called Project Now SJ to stimulate a discussion on environmental issues.
But Woodmansee said the climate crisis is the underlying reason he’s running for City Council.
“Something we’re going to have to accept as a species, something we’re going to have to accept as (Americans) is that every issue is going to be either worsened or negated by climate change,” he said.
Woodmansee said climate change can contribute to the housing crisis by displacing residents, such as the wildfires in Chico and Paradise. He believes his passion for climate action will inspire residents to question which contender is going to protect the future generations.
Woodmansee plans to focus his campaign around issues such as reducing fossil fuel consumption and encouraging sustainability by helping residents to grow their own produce.
Woodmansee added that he wants to build a grassroots campaign around artists, musicians and other passionate community members.
“You are the people that I want to build with,” he said. “It’s not building with the corporate groups, it’s not building with the labor unions, it’s not building with political parties. It’s building with the people in the community that have the desire and the ability to actively fix this failing planet.”
Contact San José Spotlight intern Judy Ly at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @_jujudymedia on Twitter.