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Michael Makoto Honda (Japanese: 本田 実 born June 27, 1941) is an American Democratic politician. He currently serves as Congressman for California's 15th congressional district, which encompasses Silicon Valley. (map)
A Japanese American, Honda was born in Walnut Grove, California in 1941 and spent his early childhood in Granada War Relocation Center, an internment camp in Colorado. His family became strawberry sharecroppers in Blossom Valley in San Jose after their return in 1953.
Honda graduated from San Jose High Academy and then San Jose State University in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences and Spanish and earned a master's degree in 1974. From 1965 to 1967 he served in the United States Peace Corps, working in El Salvador.
Honda became a science teacher and went on to serve as the principal at two public schools. In 1971, Honda was appointed by San Jose Mayor Norman Mineta to San Jose's Planning Commission, and won election to the San Jose Unified School Board in 1981. He was a member of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors (1990) and the California State Assembly (1996–2001).
Honda was elected to the U.S. House as a Democrat in 2000, succeeding Republican Tom Campbell. From 2001 to 2006, he served as a member of the Science Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. In 2007, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi appointed Honda to the influential Appropriations Committee. Honda also serves as Regional Whip for Northern California and Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
Honda is most famous for introducing resolution AJR 27, which demanded that Japan apologize for its actions in WWII and compensate its victims.
Rep. Honda has consistently supported the causes of civil rights groups, such as the NAACP and Human Rights Campaign. However, he has drawn criticism for his refusal to criticize human rights violations in China, a stand he explains by saying that he believes "things can change" in the country. Honda visited China in 2001.
In November 2004 Honda was among a small group of politicians and lawmakers who were invited to spend the evening with Presidential candidate John Kerry in Boston on election night. [1]
On February 12, 2005, he was elected a vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee under the chairmanship of Howard Dean. His term is expected to last until 2009.
On May 15, 2007 Honda was initiated into the San Francisco Lodge of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance. He is the first regular member of the organization who is not of Chinese ancestry.[1]
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Honda Wikipedia]

Revision as of 20:38, 26 January 2008