A lively gathering of young South Bay progressives gathered in downtown San Jose on Thursday evening, March 28th, 2013 to connect, network, and honor Congressman Mike Honda as part of a Young Progressives Spring Mixer.

A Gathering of Emerging Progressive Leaders

Campbell Mayor Evan Low welcomed attendees—who represented groups including the Silicon Valley Young Democrats, NextGen Bay Area, SJSU Campus Alliance for Economic Justice (CAFEJ), and the Young Workers Council.

Silicon Valley Young Progressives Mixer with Congressman Mike Honda
Campbell Mayor Evan Lowe

Mayor Lowe provided a funny, poignant introduction to the evening. Lowe is a trailblazer himself, who was elected as the nation’s youngest openly gay mayor in 2010. As an Asian American, he also maintains strong ties to the community. He concluded his opening by noting that though he can officiate marriages, he cannot himself marry; and though he can host Boy Scout groups at City Hall, he is not welcome in the organization.

California Congressman Mike Honda

Congressman Mike Honda took to the stage to share his own experiences and observations about the importance of young progressives taking an active role in shaping their communities and local offices.
Silicon Valley Young Progressives Mixer with Congressman Mike HondaCongressman Honda, representing California’s 17th congressional district, was born in the Bay area (Walnut Grove) in June 1941—six months before the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.  He spent the majority of his first five years in a Japanese internment camp in Colorado—one of 100,000+ Japanese and Japanese-Americans physically relocated and excluded from society.
Over a decade later, in 1953, Honda’s family returned to California and he completed high school in San Jose and went on to pursue a teaching credential, interrupted by two years of service as Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador. His career as an educator spanned 30+ years and his first foray into local government was when he successfully ran for election to the San Jose Unified School Board in 1981.
Honda served as an elected official in various capacities before running for U.S. Congress in 2001. He has been re-elected four times consecutively.
Here an excerpt of Congressman Honda’s remarks on equality, justice, and leadership.

“When We Oppress Other People, We Become Oppressed.” – Rep. Mike Honda

References:

Mike Honda (Wikipedia)
Japanese American Internment (Wikipedia)
California 17th Congressional District (Wikipedia)

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