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April 24, 2012 > Congressman Mike Honda (Democrat)

Congressman Mike Honda (Democrat)

For Congressional District 17

Two remarkable trends have emerged since I was first elected to Congress in 2000, making this year's election unprecedented.

In presidential and mid-term elections over the last 10 to 15 years, voter-turnout steadily increased to record levels in 2008. This is good - a more engaged America is a more democratic America.

Yet America is increasingly polarized and divided, making it more difficult to collectively solve our country's toughest problems: unemployment, education, infrastructure, housing, immigration reform and healthcare for all.

Consequently, elected officials must bring deep knowledge of - and commitment to - their district but also an ability to bridge the divide and solve the politically insoluble.

My lifetime of service to our community is consistent and clear. As an educator, a father and grandfather, a Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador, an elected official who has served at the federal, state and local levels and an internee in World War II, I know that while government can make mistakes, we can also work together to ensure access to the American Dream for all.

With over 30 years of experience in education as a teacher, principal and school board member, I brought my commitment to our children to the halls of Congress and have fought for increased funding for education and for responsible education reform. My commitment to each student includes elevating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in American public schools through my STEM Education Innovation Act.

I am also working to promote equity in our public education system. When all students are not provided with equitable resources essential for a high quality education, our nation's competitiveness suffers. That is why I worked with the U.S. Department of Education to form the National Equity and Excellence Commission, a group of our nation's foremost experts in education policy that is tasked with issuing a historic, ground-breaking report to Congress this spring on how to reform our public education, guided by each child's best interest.

As a Senior Member of the Appropriations Committee, it has been my duty and honor to re-invest hundreds of millions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars back into our neighborhoods, returning our fair share of federal funds.

For example, I successfully led the effort in Congress to secure a $900M federal grant agreement to extend BART to Silicon Valley, bringing the first $100M home earlier this year.

The project is estimated to create an average of 2,500 temporary construction jobs a year and 7,400 annual permanent jobs. In Silicon Valley, that's what we call a good ROI - return on investment.

On the House Budget Committee, I have fought for responsible federal budgets that invest in our future, exhibit fiscal discipline, put Americans back to work and protect American families.

Equally important is the task of rebuilding this nation and restoring confidence in Washington. I pledge continued service in representing you, helping local families and reinvigorating our local and national economies so we can all achieve the American Dream.

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