Honorable Michael Honda
Member of Congress
Fifteenth District, California

Congressman Mike Honda represents the 15th Congressional District of California in the U.S. House of Representatives. His district encompasses the area known throughout the world as Silicon Valley, the birthplace of technology innovation and the leading region for the development of the technologies of tomorrow. Congressman Honda has been a public servant for decades during which he has been lauded for his work on education, transportation, civil rights, the environment, and the high-tech community.

Congressman Honda was born in California, but spent his early childhood with his family in an internment camp in Colorado during World War II. His family returned to California in 1953, becoming strawberry sharecroppers in Blossom Valley in San Jose.

In 1965, Mr. Honda interrupted his college studies to answer President John F. Kennedy's call for volunteer service. He served in the Peace Corps for two years, where he built schools and health clinics in El Salvador. Mr. Honda returned from the Peace Corps with a passion for teaching, and fluent in Spanish.

He earned bachelor's degrees in Biological Sciences and Spanish, and a master's degree in Education from San Jose State University. In his career as an educator, Mr. Honda was a science teacher, served as a principal at two public schools and conducted educational research at Stanford University.

In 1971, he was appointed by San Jose Mayor Norm Mineta to San Jose's Planning Commission. In 1981, he won his first election, gaining a seat on the San Jose Unified School Board.

In 1990, Mr. Honda was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. As a Supervisor, he led efforts to establish the Open Space Authority, whose mission is the preservation of open space. He also took the lead in women's health care issues such as raising awareness of breast cancer, and convening a women's health conference. He passed landmark welfare reforms that have saved millions of dollars for the county.

Mr. Honda was elected to the California Assembly in 1996 and was re-elected in 1998. As an Assembly member, he worked with Governor Gray Davis to draft landmark education reforms - including smaller class size and increases in teachers' benefits. As Chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, he worked to pass sensible gun safety legislation to keep guns out of the hands of juveniles and voted to ban assault weapons. Mr. Honda was awarded "High-Tech Legislator of the Year" by the American Electronics Association for his strong advocacy for the high-tech economy. He fought for legislation to augment the research and development tax credit and worked to eliminate taxes on graduate school tuition paid by employers.

In 2000, Mr. Honda was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves on the House Budget Committee, the House Committee on Science, including its subcommittee on Research, and on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, including its subcommittees on Aviation, Highways & Transit, and Water Resources & Environment.

As a member of the prestigious Budget Committee, Congressman Honda is dedicated to passing a responsible budget that pays down our national debt, while protecting top priorities such as Social Security, Medicare, and public education. As a member of the influential Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, he is working hard to make sure the Silicon Valley gets its fair share of federal transportation funding to make the daily commute safer and more efficient for the residents of that fast-growing region.

As a Congressman for Silicon Valley, Congressman Honda is taking a leading role in bringing Democrats and Republicans together to better understand technology issues. In this vein, he has formed a bi-partisan Wireless Task Force to enable Congress to better understand and support innovative technologies for next generation wireless deployment.

Congressman Honda has been selected by his Democratic colleagues to serve as the Regional Whip for Northern California, Hawaii, American Samoa and Guam. As Regional Whip, he works with the Democratic Leadership by communicating legislative priorities and strategies to members within his region. He also serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and continues to be a strong voice for the cause of social justice, tolerance and civil rights.

Congressman Honda is married and has two grown children. His wife, Jeanne, is a teacher at Baldwin Elementary School in San Jose. His son, Mark, is an aerospace engineer and Michelle, his daughter, recently earned a master's degree in Public Health.


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