WOODSIDE (KPIX 5) – At the Woodside Priory School, they encourage young men and women to use their power to change the world. And that includes senior Monica Mallon.

“I have my own YouTube channel and I post videos there every week,” Mallon told KPIX 5.

But it was in a video posted last Saturday, on her 18th birthday, that Mallon made her surprise announcement.

“I’m running for District 5 Supervisor in Santa Clara County,” Mallon said in the video.

Her friends say Mallon has always been interested in politics, even when most of her classmates feel ignored by the system.

“And that politics is boring because nothing ever gets done, and I just wanted to change that,” Mallon said.

It won’t be easy. Mallon will be challenging a veteran politician, incumbent Joe Simitian for the seat. But she believes only someone from her generation can bring the full power of social media to make government run better.

“Even my opponent, he doesn’t have a Twitter account. And that’s the main thing people use to communicate,” Mallon said.

Those who know Mallon well said she could bring a fresh approach to chronic problems.

“The only people who’ve ever changed anything substantive to any significant degree are young people,” said Brian Schlaak, principal at Woodside Priory School. “Middle aged folks, like myself, are not changing the world to the same degree.”

Arisa Herman is a longtime friend of Mallon. “She’s been following it seriously for a really, really long time. And I think if any of us were to be taken seriously, it’d be her,” Herman said.

Mallon is smart enough to know that her chances of victory are slim. But she hopes her campaign will convince more young people to find their voice, and a few old politicians to open a Twitter account.

Saying money is a major problem in politics, Mallon said she doesn’t plan to spend anything on her campaign, except for the $7 to open her campaign website.

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