Shiva Rajbhandari wasn’t even of legal voting age when he decided to take on a 47-year-old incumbent on the Boise school board. The high school senior turned 18 days before Election Day last month, and he won.
On one of the biggest nights of his life, Shiva Rajbhandari was at the Roots Zero Waste Market. The 18-year-old climate activist from Boise, Idaho described it as “a super cool local grocery store with an event space.” About 30 of his friends and supporters were there, eating “super good food.”
In an interview, Rajbhandari said that while he hoped people would vote for him and not against his opponent—“My campaign was not against Steve Schmidt,” he said—he was surprised that Schmidt did not immediately reject the extreme right group support. “I think that’s what most voters disagreed with,” Rajbhandari said.
The Idaho Liberty Dogs, who attacked Rajbhandari on Facebook for being “Pro Masks/Vaccines” and leading protests “that created traffic jams and cost [sic] taxpayer money,” spent the summer campaigning to have the books removed. from the public libraries of Nampa and Meridian, two cities in the Boise metropolitan area.
At 3:10 a.m. On September 7, a school night, Rajbhandari tweeted a selfie. He showed it off, wide-eyed and smiling, flanked by friends, campaign staff, volunteers and his father.
“I was really honoured to be surrounded by all the people who had gotten me to this point,” he said. Rajbhandari, a Boise High School senior, had just been elected to the Boise School District Board of Trustees with 56% of the vote.
Who is Shiva Rajbhandari?
Shiva Rajbhandari is a member at large of the Board of Trustees for the Boise School District in Idaho. He took office on September 12, 2022. His current term ends on January 1, 2025.
Rajbhandari ran in a special election for an at-large seat on the Board of Trustees for the Boise School District in Idaho. He won in the special general election on September 6, 2022.
Rajbhandari completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey in 2022. Click here to read the survey responses.
Shiva is a junior at Boise High School with a passion for climate justice and wildlife conservation. In his spare time, he enjoys running in the Boise hills, fishing, and skiing, and as an Idaho native, he hopes that future generations will be able to enjoy Idaho outdoors the same way he did.
Shiva is a youth leader at his high school and with Babe Vote and Extinction Rebellion Youth Boise. In 2021, he was honoured to receive the ICL Alex Frizzell Award for Youth Activism. As Youth Involvement Coordinator, Shiva leads the Salmon Youth Protectors, an interstate coalition advocating for the restoration of the Lower Snake River. Shiva hopes to empower young people like himself to defend the planet they will inherit.
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