Ethiopian American Council Endorses Mike Honda for Re-Election

Congressman Mike Honda represents California's 17th Congressional district in Silicon Valley. (AP photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, September 28th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Few politicians in America could claim as close a relationship with the Ethiopian community in their district and beyond as U.S. Congressman Mike Honda of California. Mr. Honda, who is the Founder of the Ethiopian American Congressional Caucus, was also one of the keynote speakers at the recent Ethiopian soccer tournament held in San Jose. Tadias Magazine has learned that Congressman Honda, who is up for re-election in November, will be endorsed by the Ethiopian American Council (EAC) in his bid to retain his seat, which he first assumed in 2001.

In a letter sent to Mr. Honda’s office this week, and shared with Tadias, EAC informed the Congressman that given his “long years of service” to the community the Ethiopian American organization is prepared to back his campaign both in fundraising and voter drive efforts.

“The Ethiopian-American Council of North America wishes to thank you for your past service, and your record holds vast evidence that you are concerned with the rights and general welfare of all Americans – with a keen eye on immigrant and ethnic communities,” stated the letter. “We will endorse you and we will lend as much financial and social support as we deem appropriate to ensure that Ethiopian-American voters, and any other citizens we are able to encourage, will go to the polls for you.”

The letter mentions Honda’s commitment to provide “a meaningful path to citizenship for law-abiding undocumented immigrants” and his heritage as a third generation Japanese American and his experience in an internment camp in Colorado where his family was sent when he was only one year old. “With people such as yourself in office, hope remains that such an egregiously wrong action will never happen again to any ethnic or immigrant community in the United States of America,” wrote EAC.

In a statement posted on his website Congressman Honda, who is now 73-years-old, explains his early life as follows: “Though I was born in Walnut Grove, California, I spent my early childhood in a Japanese American internment camp in Colorado. It was there that I experienced first-hand the injustices that many minorities face in the United States. Even though my family and I were law-abiding citizens of this country, we were treated like enemies of the public solely because we were of Japanese descent. When I returned to California in 1953, I attended Andrew P. Hill High School and eventually graduated from San José High Academy. While attending college at San José State, I heard President Kennedy’s call for young Americans, like myself, to serve their country, and I joined the Peace Corps. As a volunteer in El Salvador, I spent two years building schools, constructing bridges and roads, and providing vaccinations to children. My Peace Corps experience sparked my lifelong passion for teaching and education. After completing my B.S. in Biological Sciences and Spanish and my Masters in Education, I became a science teacher, working my way up to becoming the principal of two schools and conducting research at Stanford University.”

California’s 17th congressional district, which Mr. Honda represents, is located in the heart of Silicon Valley and companies such as Apple, Intel, Yahoo, and eBay are all members of the district’s constituency. The area comprises North San Jose, the cities of Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Fremont, Newark, and Milpitas.

In the upcoming election Congressman Honda faces fellow Democrat and Indian American attorney, Ro Khanna, who is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Commerce.

EAC added that it will issue a press release in the coming days to announce its endorsement.

You can learn more about Congressman Mike Honda at honda.house.gov.

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