BioMike Honda currently represents the 15th Congressional District of California in the U.S. House of Representatives. As a representative of Silicon Valley, Mike is a leader on high-tech issues in Congress, working to develop technology solutions to solve problems inherent in aging federal infrastructures. Mike has led efforts to bring more security to the nation’s IT and aviation infrastructures while safeguarding the civil rights of passengers. As a long-time public servant before the birth of Silicon Valley, Mike has also focused energy on important issues such as education, transportation, the environment, and civil rights.
In 2000, Mike was elected to the United States House of Representatives. Mike serves on the powerful House Committee on Appropriations His subcommittees include- Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch.
Mike is dedicated to passing a responsible budget that pays down our national debt, and revitalizes our economy, while protecting top priorities such as Social Security, Medicare, and public education. As a member of the influential Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Mike 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 our fast-growing region.
As a Congressman for Silicon Valley, Mike is taking a leading role in bringing Democrats and Republicans together to better understand technology issues. In this vein, Mike has formed a bi-partisan Wireless Task Force to enable Congress to better understand and support innovative technologies for next generation wireless deployment. He is also the co-Chair of the Democratic Caucus New Media Working Group, a leadership led effort to foster the use of new technologies in constituent communication.
In 2005, Mike was selected by his Democratic colleagues to serve as a Vice Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and Senior Whip for the Democratic Caucus. Mike also serves as Chair Emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and the Ethiopian Caucus and continues to be a strong voice for the cause of social justice, cultural tolerance, and civil rights.
Mike was born in California, but spent much of his early childhood with his family in an internment camp in Colorado during World War II. He returned with his family to California in 1953, where his family became strawberry sharecroppers in Blossom Valley in San Jose.
Mike interrupted his college studies in 1965 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. Mike returned from the Peace Corps fluent in Spanish and with a passion for teaching.
Following his service in the Peace Corps, Mike 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, Mike was a science teacher, served as a principal at two public schools and conducted educational research at Stanford University.
In 1971, Mike was appointed by San Jose Mayor Norm Mineta to San Jose's Planning Commission. In 1981, Mike won his first election, gaining a seat on the San Jose Unified School Board.
In 1990, Mike was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. As a Supervisor, Mike 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.
Mike was elected to the California Assembly in 1996 and was re-elected in 1998. As an Assemblymember, Mike 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, Mike worked to pass sensible gun safety legislation to keep guns out of the hands of juveniles and voted to ban assault weapons. In recognition of his work advocating for the high-tech economy Mike was awarded "High-Tech Legislator of the Year" by the American Electronics Association. He fought for legislation to augment the research and development tax credit and worked to eliminate taxes on graduate school tuition paid by employers.
Mike has two grown children. His wife, Jeanne, was a teacher at Baldwin Elementary School in San Jose before her untimely passing in 2004. His son, Mark, is an aerospace engineer and Michelle, his daughter, is a public health educator.