Michael (Mike) Makoto Honda was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 17th district of California.
Mike Honda was born in California, but spent his early childhood with family in an internment camp in Colorado during World War II. Mike’s father served in the Military Intelligence Service, while his mother, who is still living, served as a fulltime homemaker. His family returned to California in 1953, becoming strawberry sharecroppers in San José's Blossom Valley.
In 1965, Honda "answered President John F. Kennedy's call for volunteer service, enrolled in the Peace Corps for two years in El Salvador and returned fluent in Spanish and with a passion for teaching".
Mike Honda earned Bachelor's degrees in Biological Sciences and Spanish and a Master's degree in Education from San José 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, Honda was appointed by then-Mayor Norman Mineta to San Jose's Planning Commission. In 1981, Mike won his first election, gaining a seat on the San José Unified School Board. In 1990, Mike was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, where he led efforts to acquire and preserve open space in the county.
Mike Honda served in the California State Assembly from 1996 to 2000. In 2000, Mike was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and serves on the Appropriations Committee, with postings on Commerce, Justice, and Science, and Legislative Branch Subcommittees. As an Appropriator, Mike focuses on directing funding towards affordable healthcare, educational programs, worker training, port and border security, law enforcement and the safety of our neighborhoods, health care for our veterans and recovery from natural disasters.
Honda is currently the Chairman Emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) after spending seven years as Chairman. He continues his past work of coordinating with his colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucuses to champion the causes of under-represented communities by promoting social justice, racial tolerance, civil rights and voting rights. Additionally, as Co-Chair of the House LGBT Caucus, Mike Honda authored immigration legislation to reunite all families, regardless of orientation.
In the 112th Congress, Mike was reappointed to House Democratic Senior Whip by then House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD).
Supported by Council for a Livable World
The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Michael Honda in his successful House of Representatives run as candidate for California.
in 2007, NAKASEC issued a press release praising Representatives Mike Honda (D – CA) and Lane Evans (D – IL) for passing a "House Resolution Supporting Redress for Former Comfort Women."
- "For Immediate Release
- "July 30, 2007
- "Becky Belcore, Korean American Resource and Cultural Center (KRCC) (Now the HANA Center)
- "Cliff Sukjae Lee, Young Koreans United
- "Eun Sook Lee, NAKASEC
- "Yu Soung Mun, YKASEC
- "Dae Joong Yoon, Korean Resource Center
- "Korean American Communities Applaud Passage of House Resolution Supporting Redress for Former Comfort Women
- "JOINT STATEMENT ON THE UNANIMOUS BIPARTISAN PASSAGE OFHOUSE RESOLUTION 121 By:
- "Korean Alliance for Peace and Justice Young Koreans United of USA
- "National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
- "Korean American Resource & Cultural Center in Chicago
- "Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles
- "YKASEC – Empowering the Korean American Community in Flushing
- "(Los Angeles, CA) House Resolution 121, introduced by Representative Mike Honda (D – CA), states that Japan should formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner, refute any claims that the issue of comfort women never occurred, and educate current and future generations “about this horrible crime while following the recommendations of the international community with respect to the ‘comfort women’.” Korean American communities are overjoyed with the news.
- "In 2001, Representative Lane Evans (D – IL) introduced the first ever resolution to address comfort women redress. Present on that day to announce the bill’s introduction was the late Soon Duck Kim, former comfort woman and a leading spokesperson from the House of Sharing (collective home for former comfort women based in Kwangju, Korea). Since that historic moment, Rep. Lane Evans and later Rep. Mike Honda have tenaciously re-introduced similar resolutions. After six years, H. Res. 121’s passage brings the former comfort women one step closer to justice.
- "About Comfort Women: During WWII, 300,000 women and girls were systematically raped and tortured by the Japanese military. 80% of the women were from Korea. Only 25% are estimated to have survived. Those who lived were often unable to return home out of shame and have lived a life of severe mental and physical trauma. For decades now former comfort women have shared spoken out demanding justice. But despite growing international pressure, Japan has refused to acknowledge its moral and legal responsibility, even omitting facts about wartime atrocities, including sexual slavery, from school textbooks."
CLW 2014 endorsement
Communist Party connections
In a report given to to the National Committee of the Communist Party USA and dated September 26 2001, California District Communist Party USA - Northern Region chair Juan Lopez, wrote extensively on Honda.
- California was a big bust for Bush and the Republicans.
- Joining with Los Angeles and other Southern California areas, the greater Bay Area counties, where the population is concentrated in Northern California and the labor movement is strongest, helped give Gore a big win in the state. With the exception of one county with 50 percent, Gore took the greater Bay Area by margins of 60 to 76 percent depending on the county, helping offset more conservative areas of the state.
- In addition, Democrat union member Mike Honda took back the seat from the Republicans in a spectacular victory in the 15th congressional district, in the San Jose-Silicon Valley area. He joined 3 other Southern California Democrats who captured seats from Republicans, altogether hugely contributing to Republican losses in the House...
- Time won't permit me to elaborate. But, even with all these victories in California, there is both the need and the potential to broaden, extend and deepen this winning electoral coalition in the post-election period -- beginning with the fight to keep Bush and the rightwing from stealing the elections.
- We are already part of this new fight. Generally our Party's membership and clubs were more active and united in these elections than I can recall. Among other things, it reflects a deeper involvement in coalition work in the past year...
- Labor organized and mobilized like I've never seen, in some areas working more closely with its allies, especially among African Americans and Mexican Americans. Along with women voters, labor and African Americans and Latinos were the core of the electoral coalition that dealt Bush and the Republicans a devastating defeat in California.
- One of those places was the 15th congressional seat in the San Jose-Silicon Valley area. The Republican candidate tried to tailor his campaign to the area. Without veering from the Republican agenda on basic economic issues, he emphasized his 'independence' from the Republican Party leadership, favored a woman's right to choose and bragged about his environmental record.
- But the Democrat with a strong working families record in the state assembly beat him 55 to 42 percent. Democrat Mike Honda embodies California's rich multi-cultural, working class experience. He is a union member of union member of the American Federation of Teachers, a former teacher and principal, who comes from a farmworker family of Japanese ancestry and who as a child spent time in an infamous American concentration camp during WW II...
- I want to cite one example. On the Saturday before the elections, our paper ran a very good article on the congressional races, highlighting Mike Honda among others, with a big picture of him. I asked if it was OK for me to pass the paper out, outside by the front door as the volunteers came streaming back for lunch. I was told, no!...Better yet: put copies on the tables where the workers would be having lunch and pass them out inside the campaign headquarters to those hanging around.
A 2002 report by Joelle Fishman, Chair, Political Action Committee, Communist Party USA to the Party's National Board, called for communist support for two California Congressional candidates-Michael Honda and Barbara Lee.
- The priority labor campaigns deserve our support. In addition our work will take us beyond these races to election districts where we have organization and where there are strong pro-labor candidates, African American, Mexican American and Latino candidates such as Rep. Mike Honda and Rep. Barbara Lee.
- Every district should consider where we can make a qualitative difference. What are the election campaigns where there is a labor or people's candidate, where we can participate in coalition to build a movement in that election district, and in the process build our Party...
- Certainly, we would not be making our special contribution to this crucial election if we were to approach our task in simply a narrow, immediate way. This gigantic election battle must be put into the broader context of the fight for an expansion of democratic rights, voter rights and voter participation. It must be put into the context of building political independence of labor and allies. In addition to union-based get-out-the-vote drives, what does political independence of labor and allies encompass?
- Perhaps in the first place, it means adding more Mike Honda's to Congress - electing more union leaders and activists to public office.
Endorsed Cindy Chavez
Cindy Chavez, a former South Bay Labor Council staff director, and 1999 Communist Party USA honoree, was elected to the San Jose City Council in 1998 and in 2006, served as vice mayor. Besides the Labor Council and many labor, community, environmental and political organizations, she was endorsed by U.S. Representatives Anna Eshoo, Mike Honda and Zoe Lofgren; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; several former San Jose mayors; and seven current city councilmembers.
Though she was backed by labor and opposed by the Chamber of Commerce, Chavez emphasized bringing all segments of the community together to solve problems. As an example, she cited her leadership role on the council for the Children’s Health Initiative, which brings together public and private funding to provide health coverage to most uninsured children in Santa Clara County.
Dean on Honda
Progressive activist and Communist Party USA associate Amy Dean is a big fan of Honda's;
- One of my favorite elected leaders is Mike Honda, a congressman in California. I would do anything for this guy: He takes chances, he takes risk. He always sticks to his progressive values. Even when he is a minority, he never sways from his values.
Honored Amy Dean
In the house of representative, Wednesday, June 4, 2003, the Santa Clara County Congressional delegation - Anna Eshoo, Mike Honda and Zoe Lofgren, read a tribute into the Congressional Record to Congressional Record to Amy Dean, Chief Executive Officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, who was leaving the bay Area to return to her native Chicago.
- Through Amy Dean's leadership, the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council has been extremely successful in working for living wage contracts for city workers, affordable housing requirements in new developments, and health insurance for every child in Santa Clara County.
- Amy Dean has been a tireless and passionate advocate for social justice and has helped to strengthen the labor movement, bringing dignity and hope to countless families, whether they are union or non-union workers. Amy Dean was the youngest person in the country to lead a large metropolitan labor council and the first woman to head a labor council as large as the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council.
- She founded Working Partnerships USA, a non-profit organization dedicated to rebuilding the links between regional economic policy and community well-being.
Peace Pledge Coalition
In 2007 90 Members of Congress, pledged in an open letter delivered to President Bush: "We will only support appropriating funds for U.S. military operations in Iraq during Fiscal Year 2008 and beyond for the protection and safe redeployment of all our troops out of Iraq before you leave office." The letter was initiated by the Peace Pledge Coalition. The Coalition was led by Tim Carpenter, Progressive Democrats of America, Bob Fertik, Democrats.comMedea Benjamin, CodePink, Bill Fletcher, co-founder of Center for Labor RenewalDavid Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org, Democrats.com, Progressive Democrats of America, Kevin Zeese, Voters for Peace, Democracy Rising, Brad Friedman, co-founder of Velvet Revolution, Bill Moyer, Backbone Campaign.
Michael Honda signed the letter.
2003 NCRR Day of Remembrance
The Day of Remembrance was commemorated 2003 in Little Tokyo with a program entitled “Race Prejudice, War Hysteria, Failure of Political Leadership: Then & Now,” presented by Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress (NCRR), Japanese American Citizens League/Pacific Southwest District (JACL), and the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), at JANM’s George & Sakaye Aratani Central Hall.
The NCRR Fighting Spirit Award was given to Janice Yen, community redress activist and a founding member of NCRR, and Los Angeles Human Relations Commission Executive Director Robin Toma was honored with the JACL Community Achievement Award. Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) delivered the keynote address at the event emphasizing on importance of passing on the story of the Japanese American internment experiences to the future generations and criticizing the anti-Muslim American hysteria after the 9/11.
“Today, we are here at this museum because it is a depository of all the information. We have to ask ourselves why we are here. For me the answer is to pass on the information.
Guest speakers included Congressman Xavier Becerra and Omar Ricci of Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), touched on recent comments by Rep. Howard Coble and comparing the Nikkei World War ll experience with what many of the Muslim Americans have been going through since 9/11.
Becerra disagreed with Coble’s comments declaring that what happened 60 years ago to Japanese Americans was wrong.” However, he claimed that Coble would listen and acknowledge injustice of the internment if he had a right information. “I won’t give up on anyone just like Issei who believed in hope, justice and finally got a citizenship after all those years,” Becerra stated.
Flanked by former internees and leaders of civil rights organizations, Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) called for the Republican Party to hold North Carolina Rep. Howard Coble responsible for comments he made endorsing the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
Coble, chair of the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security, has refused to step down from his chairmanship or meet formally with Asian American mem-bers of Congress. In a Feb. 4 2003 radio in-terview he said, “We were at war. They (Japanese Americans) were an endangered species. For many of these Japanese Americans it wasn’t safe for them to be on the street.” He later issued a statement clarifying his position, but still insisting that President Roosevelt made his decision based on what “he felt was in the best interest of national security.”
Joining Honda at the press conference, were Kei Nagao, Nikkei Coalition for Redress and Reparations; Ken Inouye, Pacific Southwest District Japanese American Citizens League; Salam Al-Marayati, executive director, Muslim Public Affairs Council; Bill Watanabe, Little Tokyo Service Center; Stacy Toda, Organization of Chinese Americans; Guy Aoki, Media Action Network for Asian Americans; Frank Emi, wartime draft resister; Jim Matsuoka, a former internee at Manzanar; as well as representatives from the Japanese American Bar Association, Japanese American Cultural Community Center and Visual Communications.
The groups reiterated calls for Coble to step down as chair of the House subcommittee and expressed concerns that his statements reflected the eroding of civil liberties in American society.
“When you have ignorance com-bined with power that is the most dan-gerous formula you can have to lead our country,” said Al-Marayati. “As chair of this committee for homeland security it is no wonder that our policy on home-land security is a mess. We have suffered from 9/11 as an American people. Now we are suffering from hysteria, and prejudice, and lack of leadership. What took place 60 years ago, it is taking place again today.”
The San Jose congressman declared that the issue has underscored the ne-cessity that Japanese Americans continue to speak out on the internment.
“The reason why it is so important that Japanese Americans, Nikkeis especially, speak out today and speak out tomorrow and into the future is that we have to have this continuous learn-ing mode to make sure the other policy makers and other members of our society continue to learn what it is that we suffered, what lessons that were learned through our efforts in reparations, and the lessons we learned about the importance of the Constitution,” Honda said.
Colombia Support Network letter
In 2002, the Colombia Support Network organized a :dear colleague" letter to President Andres Pastrana Arango, of Colombia, through Ned Steiner, a staffer in Rep. Sam Farr's office.
The letter called on President Pastrana to end a military blockade on the Colombian town of San Jose de Apartado, a sister community of Madison Wisconsin, where the Colombia Support Network is based.
- We write to you to bring your attention to the humanitarian crisis facing the civilian population of the Peace Community San Jose de Apartadó and its outlying settlements.
- We urge the appropriate authorities of your government to dismantle the paramilitary checkpoint on the road between San Jose and Apartadó, ensure the continued safety of the road, and fully investigate recent threats and attacks on the Peace Community.
- The Peace Community San Jose de Apartadó and its settlements, including the village of La Union, receive the permanent accompaniment of international organizations.
- These include Peace Brigades International (PBI), as well as the U.S. Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), which currently has two US citizens in La Union. We support the work of these two respected organizations as well as the Peace Community in its effort to build a non-violent alternative to the conflict.
Representatives who signed the Colombia Support Network inspired letter in 2001 included Mike Honda. 
2006 letter to Condoleezza Rice on Colombia
Alleged Colombian Army killings prompted Fellowship of Reconciliation to work with Representative Sam Farr to forge a response that would impact the 17th Brigade, the unit allegedly responsible for the violence against San José de Apartadó and communities throughout northwestern Colombia.
As a result, Reps. Sam Farr and Jim McGovern, wrote a letter to their colleagues in Congress urging them to join in calling on Secretary Condoleezza Rice to cut funding for the Colombian military.
- Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
- (Deadline for Congressional representatives to sign: February 22)
- We applaud the decision, noted in your certification letter of August 2005, that the US "will not consider providing assistance to the 17th Brigade until all significant human rights allegations involving the unit have been credibly addressed." Because the Brigade is a component of the Colombian Armed Forces' command structure and has been implicated in the above referenced human rights violations, we implore you to abide by both the letter of the law and the spirit of the law by withholding human rights certification for Colombia until the following conditions are met:
Signatories included Michael Honda.
2009 letter on Colombia
From November 6th through December 7th 2009, a letter calling for change in U.S. policy towards Colombia was circulated through the House of Representatives. This letter called for a decrease in U.S. aid for Colombia's military and an increase in support for human rights and humanitarian efforts. The initiators of this letter were —Representatives James McGovern, Jan Schakowsky, Donald Payne, and Mike Honda.
- Dear Secretary of State Clinton,
- The FY 2011 budget will contain the twelfth year of a major aid package to Colombia—an aid package originally slated to phase out after six years.
- After eleven years, it is time to scale down assistance for Colombia's military and more systematically "Colombianize" such programs, within both the State Department and Defense Department budgets.
Congressional Progressive Caucus
As of February 20 2009 Michael Honda was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
In January 2015, Michael Honda was listed as a Vice Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
In early April 2009, Rep. Barbara Lee led a congressional delegation to Havana for a 4-1/2 hour meeting with Raul Castro, telling reporters, "All of us are convinced that President Castro would like normal relations and would see normalization, ending the embargo, as beneficial to both countries." Reuters reported that Lee's delegation "avoided specifics" with Castro "but were struck by his humor, impressed by his involvement in Third World causes and firm in their belief that he wants to end U.S.-Cuba enmity."
The meeting between Castro, Lee, and five other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, took place in secret without the customary presence of a US State Department official. No reporters attended, and according to the New York Times, Cuban television, which covered the visit, offered no details of what was said.
Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH), Laura Richardson (D-CA), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Melvin Luther Watt (D-CA), and Barbara Lee. "Also particapating were Patrice Willougby, executive assistant to the Congressional Black Caucus, and Eulada Watt, wife of Congressman Mel Watt".
Bobby Rush said he found Raul Castro "to be just the opposite of how he's being portrayed in the media." AP quotes Rush as saying, "I think what really surprised me, but also endeared to him was his keen sense of humor, his sense of history and his basic human qualities." At times, Rush said, the lawmakers and Castro chatted "like old family members."
Lee says she wanted to influence President Barack Obama prior to the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Trinadad and Tobago.
Prior to the trip, Lee told her hometown Oakland Tribune newspaper that the US had to open up to Cuba, but did not demand that the Cuban government open up; she blasted US policy as "based on antiquated Cold War-era thinking." She could have used those words to describe her own views.
Michael Honda, from California, also accompanied the delegation, as did Patrice Willoughby, executive assistant of the Congressional Black Caucus, plus four military personnel from the Congressional Liaison Office under the orders of Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Wolf.
Calling on Israeli Govt. to lift Gaza Travel Ban
On Dec. 22, 2009, thirty-three U.S. Representatives wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling on her to request that the Israeli Government end the ban on student travel from Gaza to the West Bank. Michael Honda was one of the signatories of the letter. The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.
Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade
On Jan. 27, 2010, U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison and Jim McDermott led 52 other members of Congress in signing a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, calling for him to use diplomatic pressure to resolve the blockade affecting Gaza. Michael Honda was one of the signatories of the letter.  The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.
In 2009, Barbara Lee and 10 other members of the House of Representatives have introduced a bill requesting an investigation into the Bush administration’s role in the 2004 "destabilization campaign and invasion" of Haiti. The original proposed legislation, called the Truth Act, has been submitted annually to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs by Congressperson Lee.
Lee stated in 2004: “We do not teach people to overthrow our U.S. government, and the Bush administration must not participate in the overthrow of other democratically-elected governments. The United States must stand firm in its support of democracy and not allow a nascent democracy like Haiti to fall victim to the Bush administration’s apparent policy of regime change.”
“Regime change takes a variety of forms, and this looks like a blatant form of regime change to me,” Congressperson Lee told Noriega. The bill, now known as H.R. 331, could make the congressional calendar for review in 2009.
The bill’s co-sponsors included Corrine Brown (Fla.), Chaka Fattah (Pa.), Michael Honda (Calif.), Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.), Donald Payne (N.J.), Charles B. Rangel (N.Y.), Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) and Maxine Waters (Calif.).
Voted against cutting funding for ACORN
In September 2009, following the lead of their Senate colleagues, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to cut off funds to ACORN. the vote was 345-75. All of the 75 were Democrats, and included Michael Honda. 
Asian American Action Fund
In 2010 the Asian American Action Fund endorsed Ami Bera and Mike Honda for US Congress in the June 8 California primary election.
In the 2014 election, Michael Honda was supported by the Asian American Action Fund.
U.S. Rep. David Price, a Chapel Hill Democrat led a bipartisan delegation to monitor the work of the Department of Homeland Security in the Phillippines, Hong Kong and Vietnam, December 2012.
The trip was designed to give members of Congress a better understanding of the department's coordination with foreign governments to secure U.S.-bound cargo and work on anti-terrorism efforts and international adoption issues.
The delegation included Democratic Reps. Sam Farr, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Mike Honda and Mazie Hirono as well as Republican Rep. John Carter.
Most of the members sit on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which Price chaired.
They were scheduled to meet with Phillippines president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, among other foreign leaders, during the trip.
Staffer's trip to Venezuela
Rep. Honda sent Michael Shank, to Venezuela for 3 days in February 2010. The trip was courtesy of a $2,219.70 grant from the Institute for Policy Studies connected Center for Democracy in the Americas... "A fact-finding trip in Venzuela and other Latin American countries with the mission of fostering dialogue and improving U.S. policy and bilateral relations" .
2010 trip to Latin America
Rep. Honda traveled to Honduras and El Salvador for 3 days in May/June 2010. The trip was courtesy of a $4,107.39 grant from the Institute for Policy Studies connected Center for Democracy in the Americas... "Assess the situation in Honduras and El Salvador and current U.S. policy implications in the countries" .
Campaign to Make Immigration Reform a Top Issue in 2010
On October 13 2010 , immigration activists from around the country gathered to join in a vigil and rally in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC., where Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez and other elected officials launched a new push for comprehensive immigration reform, building to the opening months of 2010. their banners read “Reform Immigration FOR Families” and “Family Unity Cannot Wait.”
More than 750 people traveled to Washington on buses from up and down the Eastern seaboard and as far away as Texas, Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, and Michigan. They spent Tuesday morning meeting with Congressional offices before being joined by thousands of people from the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area, who gathered on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol to listen to testimonies from families, veterans, and children who face family disintegration because of immigration laws and deportation.
Religious leaders from a diverse array of faith traditions around the country, some organized through Familias Unidas, added their voices.
- At the event Congressman Gutierrez outlined a set of principles for progressive immigration reform that needs to include a rational and humane approach to legalize the undocumented population, to protect workers’ rights, to allocate sufficient visas, to establish a smarter and more humane border enforcement policy, to promote integration of immigrant communities, to include the DREAM Act and AgJOBS bills, to protect rights guaranteed by the Constitution, and to keep families together.
The lawmakers who joined Rep. Gutierrez on stage, and addressed the gathering included Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chairman Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA), Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairs Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Congressional Black Caucus Member, Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Michael Quigley (D-IL), and Delegate Gregorio Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands).
Committee to Stop FBI Repression delegation
In mid November 2010, a delegation from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression ( returned home from several days of bringing the "issue of the FBI raids and grand jury subpoenas of people doing international solidarity work and anti-war organizing to the U.S. Capitol". Three supporters of the Marxist-Leninist Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!, Deb Konechne of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Anh Pham, who is facing a reactivation of her subpoena and Joe Iosbaker, whose home was raided, spent two days meeting with U.S. Representatives on the issue. The delegation asked each Congressperson to sponsor a “Dear Colleague” letter condemning the raids and grand jury subpoenas. In the two days, the delegation met with either the Congressional Representative’s staff or the Representative themselves fro[[m the following 16 offices: Tammy Baldwin (WI), John Conyers (MI), Danny Davis (IL), Keith Ellison (MN), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Luis Gutierrez (IL), Mike Honda (CA), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL), Dennis Kucinich (OH), Barbara Lee (CA), Jim McDermott (WA), Jim McGovern (MA), Bobby Rush (IL), Linda Sanchez (CA), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Maxine Waters (CA). The "meetings were positive, with all the offices expressing genuine concern about the situation. In some cases, because of the outpouring of calls from around the country, the U.S. Representatives were aware that the delegation was in Washington D.C. and the offices made time on their schedules to meet with the delegation. This reinforces the continuing importance of the solidarity work taking place around the country."
Rep. Conyers (MI), chair of the Judiciary Committee, directed the Counsel of the Judiciary Committee to meet with the delegation. Also, Rep. Ellison (MN) and his Congressional staff met directly with the delegation for a significant amount of time. rep. Ellison sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, expressing concern over the situation and is continuing to work on options to support his constituents affected. The delegation also received face-to-face meetings with Rep Gutierrez and Rep Davis from Chicago. Rep. Grijalva’s (AZ) office set up a meeting between the delegation and the Executive Director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the Congress of which rep. Grijalva is the chair. In addition, the office of Jan Schakowsky (IL) and Maxine Waters (CA) gave the delegation significant time and attention.
“It was clear that progressive Representatives of the Congress are very concerned about the FBI investigation. Overall, they were very thankful for our visit and for the information and analysis given to them The level of awareness about the raids and grand jury was varied, from little to full awareness, but the delegation certainly changed that. After the two days, our presence and purpose definitely created a stir in the halls of Congress. “The fact that we were able to interact with 16 legislative aides or Congress people themselves, during an extremely busy time of restructuring leadership in the Congress, exemplifies the attention this matter is receiving”, stated Joe Iosbaker.
One early morning fall 2010, professor Masao Suzuki was in the driveway of his west San Jose home. As he tells it, his daughter was in the car, waiting to be driven to Prospect High School. Suzuki had just finished loading the things he’d need that day to teach economics classes at Skyline College into his trunk when a man walked up to him.
“’He said, ‘Are you Masao Suzuki? I said, ‘Yes I am.’ And he said, ‘I’m from the FBI,’ and he showed me his badge.”
Suzuki, a longtime local political activist, says the man tried to question him, but he refused. He says the man told him he would have to instead question his neighbors and co-workers.
“I just said, ‘I don’t want to talk to you,” Suzuki recalls.
Although he never heard from him again, there’s no doubt in Suzuki’s mind that the young dark-suited man was an FBI agent. Suzuki believes the visit was part of an FBI investigation seeking to convict him and other anti-war activists of terrorist activities under the PATRIOT Act. He believes this because on that same day—Sept. 24, 2010—the FBI raided the Chicago and Minneapolis homes of several of his colleagues—activists who’d organized protests at the 2008 Republican National Convention. In those raids, the FBI seized computers, cell phones and documents, and served federal grand jury subpoenas to 14 people.
In other parts of the country that day, at least 20 others were questioned. Last month new subpoenas were served on another group of activists. A total of 23 people have been ordered to appear at a Chicago Grand Jury on Jan. 25.
The search warrants issued by the U.S. District Court on Sept. 23 indicate that the FBI was looking for evidence related to a law prohibiting “material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations.” Suzuki is named on the search warrants issued to the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee along with others who were subpoenaed.
Suzuki is a 20-year member of San Jose’s Nihonmachi Outreach Committee (NOC), whose mission is “educating the public about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.” In 2008, representing NOC, Suzuki joined a coalition of peace organizations who demonstrated at the September 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.
A flier promoting the protest, which proclaims “U.S. Out of Iraq Now!,” names Suzuki as the contact and includes his cell phone number. This flier lists the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee and dozens of other participating organizations including CODEPINK, Veterans for Peace, the War Resisters League and dozens of Midwestern student groups, labor unions and peace centers.
Following the alleged encounter in his driveway last September, Suzuki says, he was shaken. He soon got wind of the FBI’s activities in Chicago and St. Paul. He says he warned his neighbors, his students and the vice president of his union—the [[A[merican Federation of Teachers]]—that the FBI might be calling on them. He also contacted an attorney, Dan Mayfield of San Jose.
Mayfield is a member of the National Lawyers Guild, a civil rights advocacy group that, along with the ACLU, is closely following this grand jury and the FBI’s activities. He says Patrick Fitzgerald, a high-profile U.S. attorney for northern Illinois, is taking the PATRIOT Act’s definition of “terrorist act” and a change in the definition of “material aid” from a recent Supreme Court case and putting them together to intimidate people and organizations.
“It’s unclear whether Fitzgerald wants to use this to run for higher office but we’ve seen this type of thing before—Rudy Giuliani started out as a U.S. attorney,” Mayfield says, adding: “Isn’t it interesting that Fitzgerald, a politically savvy holdover from the Bush administration, is interested in people who organized demonstrations against the RNC that was held in his backyard?”
On Dec. 2, Suzuki and representatives from the South Bay Labor Council, American Federation of Teachers, Council on American-Islamic Relations and the San Jose Peace Center met with Rep. Mike Honda’s aides. They had Honda send a letter of inquiry to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Honda’s office says it’s still waiting to hear back from Holder.
Mayfield says that since Sept. 24 there’s been a lot of push-back to the FBI’s moves. The National Lawyers Guild, the ACLU and hundreds of labor unions, state and federal legislators, and human rights groups have asked Holder to stop this grand jury. A new national organization, the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, is organizing demonstrations in 20 U.S. cities on Jan. 25.
Suzuki and Mayfield have organized an affiliate, the South Bay Committee Against Political Repression, which is holding teach-ins and a rally on Jan. 25 from 4 to 6 pm at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library at Fourth and San Fernando streets in San Jose.
30th annual Day of Remembrance
The 30th annual San Jose Day of Remembrance was held at San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin on February 14, 2010.
Emcee Will Kaku pointed out that the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 attributed the incarceration of Japanese Americans to "prejudice, war hysteria, and the failure of political leadership." "We need to hold all political leadership accountable for defending our civil liberties," he said. "Let us not forget the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said 'injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' There is much unfinished business and work we have to do in this community."
Gary Jio delivered the NOC keynote address, highlighting his speech with excerpts from songs from the 60's to the present. His message was twofold: Day of Remembrance was a huge influence during the redress movement, keeping redress and reparations for Japanese Americans in the public mind. To keep Day of Remembrance relevant today, it must tell the stories of the camps vividly enough to be felt personally, and relate to current civil liberties issues, such as Japanese Latin American redress and reparations, equality for members of the Muslim American and LGBT communities.
Grace Shimizu of Campaign for Justice described the hardships her father suffered when he was abducted from his home in Peru, to forced labor in a prison camp in the Panama Canal Zone, and incarceration in the Department of Justice camp in Crystal City, Texas. She urged support for H.R. 42/S. 69 that will commission an investigation into the Japanese Latin American experience during World War II and make recommendations it deems appropriate.
The traditional candle lighting ceremony, accompanied by shakuhachi master Kanow Matsueda, was narrated by San Jose JACL President Leon Kimura and NOC Chair Reiko Nakayama. As they called the names of the camps, the Shibayama Family, Art, Betty, Brian and Becki, lit the candles for each of the ten camps. The following candlelight procession through the streets of Japantown was led by banner bearers from NOC and Silicon Valley JACL.
Two cultural performances rounded out the program: Kanow Matsueda, shakuhachi, and Julie Masazuki Sumida, koto, played pieces by classical and modern composers.
- Congressman Mike Honda, a long-time supporter of NOC, urged the audience to take action on H.R. 42/S. 69 by contacting Congress members who are inclined to vote 'no' or are fence-sitting.
31st annual Day of Remembrance
More than 300 people packed the San Jose Buddhist Church hall on Feb. 20 2011, to attend the 31st annual Day of Remembrance event in San Jose. This event commemorates Executive Order 9066 that was issued on Feb. 19, 1942 and which led to the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans in U.S. concentration camps during World War II. The theme of the event was “Fighting Against Fear” which made connections the Japanese American experience during WWII and the attacks on Arab Americans and American Muslims today. The San Jose Day of Remembrance was organized by the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee (NOC), a grassroots community organization that was formed in the late 1970s out of concerns about the impact of corporate redevelopment on historic Japanese American communities.
The event was emceed by NOC member Masao Suzuki, who pointed out the forces of “racism, war hysteria, and political misleadership” that led to the World War II concentration camps for Japanese Americans were also at work today in attacks on Arab Americans and American Muslims. Jimi Yamaichi, who was sent to the concentration camp at Tule Lake, California, told the audience about his fight to join the local carpenters union, which excluded Japanese and other Asians before World War II. Jimi Yamaichi was also among 26 young men at Tule Lake who refused to be drafted into the U.S. military along with hundreds of others at other camps.
The special guest speaker for the evening was Zahra Billoo, the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations. Billoo commented on CAIR courage award that had be given to Mr. Yamaichi, and in turn was thanked by the emcee, Masao Suzuki, for her work on his behalf after he had been questioned by the FBI in connection with the Federal Grand Jury targeting Midwest anti-war and international solidarity activists. Yasmine Vanya of the South Bay Islamic Association also spoke and thanked the Japanese American community for their solidarity and support in the days following Sept. 11, 2001.
After the procession there was a short speech by Karen Korematsu, the daughter of Fred Korematsu. Fred Korematsu was one of three Japanese Americans who fought the concentration camps through the courts, eventually taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. While the 1944 Supreme Court ruled that the camps were legal because national security outweighed individual rights and allowed racial discrimination, this was overturned in 1983 when it was shown that the U.S. government deliberately lied to win the case. The state of California just celebrated its first “Fred Korematsu Day” on his birthday, Jan. 30.
The last speaker was Congressman Mike Honda, who represents the 15th district in San Jose. He spoke about how fear led to Japan bashing in the 1980s and compared this to the rising tensions with China today.
At the end of the program the Suzuki, reminded the audience about the continuing struggle of Japanese Latin Americans. The U.S. government held more than 2000 Japanese civilians from Latin America in Department of Justice prison camps at Crystal City, Texas and other sites to be used as prisoner of war exchanges. Japanese Latin Americans were excluded from the 1986 and 1988 redress (apology) and reparations (monetary compensation) awarded to almost all Japanese Americans held in concentration camps on the grounds that they “entered the country illegally” (true enough, since they were rounded up at the behest of U.S. government and brought to the United States at gunpoint). He urged the audience to support the Campaign For Justice (CFJ) efforts to establish an official commission to report on Japanese Latin Americans.
In addition to the record turnout, the audience had large number of young people from local colleges and a good turnout from the local peace and international solidarity movements and the American Muslim community. Local state assemblyman Paul Fong also came with a proclamation from the California state assembly commending the Day of Remembrance event.
33rd annual Day of Remembrance
On Feb. 17, 2013, the San José Day of Remembrance program commemorated the anniversary of Executive Order 9066 issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942. 300 people came to the San Jose Buddhist Church hall to remember E.O. 9066, which led to the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II. At the beginning of the program the emcee, Will Kaku, said that the official apology from the government stated that the concentration camps “were due to racial prejudice, wartime hysteria and a failure of political leadership. Although those words pertain to events from 71 years ago, they serve as a warning to us today.”
The first of the evening’s guest speakers was Molly Kitajima, a nisei, or second-generation Japanese American, who was born and grew up in Canada. She told the audience how the Canadian government not only put over 20,000 Japanese Canadians into concentration camps following the U.S., but went further by seizing their land under eminent domain and sold it off cheap. Ms. Kitajima also spoke of her trip to Cuba with other Japanese Americans and their meetings with Japanese Cubans. She ended by saying, “I stand, head high, with those who endured this hardship,” and continued, “I will stand up for others who would be discriminated against as I was.”
The theme of the program was “The Changing Face of America,” which was seen in the diversity of speakers. For the first time, the San José Day of Remembrance invited a speaker from the Sikh community, to express solidarity between Japanese Americans and Sikhs who have been harassed and killed in the years following 2001, and in particular the massacre at the Sikh gurdwara (temple) in 2012. Simran Kaur, Advocacy Manager for the Sikh Coalition, which formed in response to anti-Sikh violence after 2001, proclaimed “Let us stand up together!”
Another highlight of the program was the proclamation presented by the mayor of East Palo Alto, Reuban Abrica, to the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee (NOC), which has organized Day of Remembrance events for 32 years in San José. The proclamation was accepted by NOC’s chairperson, Reiko Nakayama.
The Day of Remembrance included a performance by the San José Taiko (Japanese folk drums), including a piece entitled “Day of Remembrance” to commemorate the event. Also speaking were the local Japanese American Congressman Mike Honda, and representatives of the Buddhist Church, the Wesley United Methodist Church and the South Bay Islamic Association.
34th annual Day of Remembrance
On Feb. 16, 2014, more than 250 people gathered at the Buddhist Church hall in San José Japantown to commemorate the 34th annual Day of Remembrance. Days of Remembrance events are held in Japanese American communities to commemorate Executive Order 9066, issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Feb. 19, 1942, which led to the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II. The San José event was organized by the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee (NOC).
The event was emceed by Reiko Nakayama of NOC, and began with an opening aspiration by Reverend Hajime Yamamoto of the Wesley United Methodist Church. The remembrance speech was given by Joe Yasutake of the Japanese American Museum of San Jose.
The next speaker was Sara Jaka, of the South Bay Islamic Association, which is located a few blocks from San Jose Japantown. She said that coming to the Day of Remembrance event made her feel both “fearful and hopeful,” hearing how actions then and now are driven by racial prejudice, but also seeing people coming together in solidarity.
The next speaker was Dale Minami, who was the lead attorney of the legal team that challenged Korematsu v. United States in court in 1983. Mainly made up of young Asian American attorneys, the legal team was able to show that there were no arrests of Japanese Americans for espionage. Further, they showed how the government prosecutors altered, suppressed and destroyed evidence, including reports from military intelligence that showed that there was no need for the camps.
Minamii said, “We need to remember the losses and humiliation of Japanese Americans. We also need to remember the triumph of redress [the official government apology issued in 1986] as part of the long march to social justice by the National Coalition for Redress and Reparations, the National Council for Japanese American Redress, the Japanese American Citizens League and others. This was made possible by the struggle of African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans who fought for civil rights.”
He went on to quote Fred Korematsu’s statement to court, who said in 1983: “I would like the government be shown wrong so it will never happen again.” Minami continued “The only victory is continued activism and education” and “justice is not a gift, it is a challenge.”
Another highlight of the program was an award presented by the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee, to local congressperson Mike Honda, who was an annual speaker at the Day of Remembrance events.
The Day of Remembrance included a performance by the San José Taiko )Japanese folk drums) and candlelight procession through Japantown. The evening ended with a closing meditation by Rinban Ken Fujimoto of the Buddhist Church.
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
In Oakland, California, hundreds of workers, youth, and activists rose to their feet to welcome Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis who opened the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance’s 3-day 11th biennial convention on July 22, 2011. Solis spoke of the employment crisis and the recovery of back wages for victims of wage theft, and was met with a standing ovation for her strong support for the DREAM Act. The convention’s lineup of speakers also included AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Lee Saunders, and SEIU President Mary Kay Henry.
In accordance with the theme, "Generations United: Our Jobs, Our Rights, Our Future!" the convention successfully outreached to 200 young leaders. Fiery testimonials were given by student activists and DREAMers Ju Hong and David Cho, as well as Pulitzer-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who all shared their experience as undocumented immigrants and highlighted immigration as a key issue in the APA labor movement.
APALA honored labor and community leaders during the sold-out gala dinner, and the grand ballroom was at-capacity with over twenty APA elected officials including Congressman Mike Honda, Mayor Jean Quan and State Controller John Chiang joining convention goers for a reception and dinner Saturday evening.
Immigration round table
APALA was doubly represented at the NCAPA Immigration Roundtable in 2012, where Caroline Fan and Seattle chapter member Yuki Suren, an undocumented student, spoke movingly about the need for immigration reform and the DREAM Act, recognizing that about 10 percent of undocumented students are APA. Caroline said, "America was built out of the dreams and sweat of immigrant workers, and if we are going to be a prosperous, future-facing country, we need to include our most talented young people - regardless of immigration status."
Yuki shared her own hopes and experiences: "Passing the Dream Act will help me and many other good hard working people who just simply want to survive. It will help me to fulfill my dreams, serve my community and contribute to this nation which I consider my home. Please put yourself in my position, and do not punish me for the sacrifice that my parents made for a better life for me. Our immigration system especially victimizes immigrants' children who had no say in coming here."
Other speakers included Congressman Mike Honda (CA), Angela Arboleda, Senior Policy Advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Morna Ha
Hillary Clinton, in full Hillary Rodham Clinton, née Hillary Diane Rodham, (born October 26, 1947, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.), American lawyer and politician who served as a U.S. senator (2001–09) and secretary of state (2009–13) in the administration of Pres. Barack Obama. She also served as first lady (1993–2001) during the administration of her husband, Bill Clinton, 42nd president of the United States. As the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 2016, she became the first woman to top the presidential ticket of a major party in the United States.
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The first president’s wife born after World War II, Hillary was the eldest child of Hugh and Dorothy Rodham. She grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, where her father’s textile business provided the family with a comfortable income; her parents’ emphasis on hard work and academic excellence set high standards.
A student leader in public schools, she was active in youth programs at the First United Methodist Church. Although she later became associated with liberal causes, during this time she adhered to the Republican Party of her parents. She campaigned for Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater in 1964 and chaired the local chapter of the Young Republicans. A year later, after she enrolled at Wellesley College, her political views began to change. Influenced by the assassinations of Malcolm X, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr., she joined the Democratic Party and volunteered in the presidential campaign of antiwar candidate Eugene McCarthy.
After her graduation from Wellesley in 1969, Hillary entered Yale Law School, where she came under the influence of Yale alumna Marian Wright Edelman, a lawyer and children’s rights advocate. Through her work with Edelman, she developed a strong interest in family law and issues affecting children.
Lawyer and first lady of Arkansas
Although Hillary met Bill Clinton at Yale, they took separate paths after graduation in 1973. He returned to his native Arkansas, and she worked with Edelman in Massachusetts for the Children’s Defense Fund. In 1974 Hillary participated in the Watergate inquiry into the possible impeachment of Pres. Richard M. Nixon. When her assignment ended with Nixon’s resignation in August 1974, she made what some people consider the crucial decision of her life—she moved to Arkansas. She taught at the University of Arkansas School of Law, and, following her marriage to Bill Clinton on October 11, 1975, she joined the prominent Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she later became a partner.
After Bill was elected governor of Arkansas in 1978, she continued to pursue her career and retained her maiden name (until 1982), bringing considerable criticism from voters who felt that her failure to change her name indicated a lack of commitment to her husband. Their only child, Chelsea Victoria, was born in 1980.
Throughout Bill’s tenure as governor (1979–81, 1983–92), Hillary worked on programs that aided children and the disadvantaged; she also maintained a successful law practice. She served on the boards of several high-profile corporations and was twice named one of the nation’s 100 most influential lawyers (1988, 1991) by the National Law Journal. She also served as chair of the Arkansas Education Standards Committee and founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. She was named Arkansas Woman of the Year in 1983 and Arkansas Young Mother of the Year in 1984.
First lady of the United States
In Bill’s 1992 presidential campaign, Hillary played a crucial role by greeting voters, giving speeches, and serving as one of her husband’s chief advisers. Her appearance with him on the television news program 60 Minutes in January 1992 made her name a household word. Responding to questions about Bill’s alleged 12-year sexual relationship with an Arkansas woman, Gennifer Flowers, Bill and Hillary discussed their marital problems, and Hillary told voters to judge her husband by his record—adding that, if they did not like what they saw, then, “heck, don’t vote for him.”
With a professional career unequaled by any previous presidential candidate’s wife, Hillary was heavily scrutinized. Conservatives complained that she had her own agenda, because she had worked for some liberal causes. During one campaign stop, she defended herself from such criticism by asserting that she could have “stayed home and baked cookies.” This impromptu remark was picked up by the press and used by her critics as evidence of her lack of respect for women who are full-time homemakers.
Some of Hillary’s financial dealings raised suspicions of impropriety and led to major investigations after she became first lady. Her investment in Whitewater, a real estate development in Arkansas, and her commodities trading in 1978–79—through which she reportedly turned a $1,000 investment into $100,000 in a few months—came under close scrutiny.
During the 1992 campaign, Bill Clinton sometimes spoke of a “twofer” (“two for the price of one”) presidency, implying that Hillary would play an important role in his administration. Early indications from the Clinton White House supported this interpretation. She appointed an experienced staff and set up her own office in the West Wing, an unprecedented move. Her husband appointed her to head the Task Force on National Health Care, a centrepiece of his legislative agenda. She encountered sharp criticism when she closed the sessions of the task force to the public, and doctors and other health care professionals objected that she was not a “government official” and had no right to bar them from the proceedings. An appeals court later supported her stand, ruling that presidents’ wives have a long-standing “tradition of public service” acting “as advisers and personal representatives of their husbands.” To promote the findings of the task force, she appeared before five congressional committees and received considerable and mostly favourable press coverage for her expertise on the subject. But Congress ultimately rejected the task force’s recommendations, and her role in the health care debate galvanized conservatives and helped Republicans recapture Congress in the 1994 elections.
Hillary was criticized on other matters as well, including her role in the firing of seven staff members from the White House travel office (“Travelgate”) and her involvement in legal maneuvering by the White House during the Whitewater investigation. As the 1996 election approached, she was less visible and played a more traditional role as first lady. Her first book, It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us (1996), described her views on child rearing and prompted accolades from supporters and stark criticism from her opponents.
Revelations about President Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky brought the first lady back into the spotlight in a complex way. She stood faithfully by her husband during the scandal—in which her husband first denied and then admitted to having had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky—and throughout his ensuing impeachment and trial in the Senate.
In 1999 Hillary Rodham Clinton made history of a different sort when she launched her candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat from New York being vacated by Daniel Patrick Moynihan. To meet the state’s residency requirement, she moved out of Washington, D.C., on January 5, 2000, to a house that she and the president purchased in Chappaqua, New York. After a bitter campaign, she defeated Republican Rick Lazio by a substantial margin to become the first first lady to win elective office. Although often a subject of controversy, Hillary showed that the ceremonial parts of the first lady’s job could be merged with a strong role in public policy and that the clout of the first lady could be converted into a personal political power base.
Senate and 2008 presidential run
Sworn into office on January 3, 2001, Senator Clinton continued to push for health care reform, and she remained an advocate for children. She served on several senatorial committees, including the Committee for Armed Services. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, she supported the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan but grew highly critical of Pres. George W. Bush’s handling of the Iraq War. In 2003 Hillary’s much-anticipated memoir of her White House years, Living History, was published and set sales records; she had received an advance of about $8 million for the book. In 2006 she was easily reelected to the Senate.Betty Boyd Caroli
The following year Hillary announced that she would seek the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination for 2008. She began the primary season as the front-runner for the nomination but placed a disappointing third in the first contest, the Iowa caucus, on January 3, 2008. Her campaign quickly rebounded, and she won the New Hampshireprimary five days later. On Super Tuesday, February 5, Clinton won important states such as California, Massachusetts, and New York, but she failed to gain a significant lead over Barack Obama in the number of pledged convention delegates. Obama won 11 consecutive states following Super Tuesday to take over the delegate lead and become the new favourite for the nomination, but Clinton rebounded in early March with key victories in Ohio and Texas, and in April she added to her momentum by winning the Pennsylvania primary. However, Clinton’s narrow victory in Indiana and substantial loss in North Carolina in early May severely limited the possibility of her garnering enough delegates to overtake Obama before the final primaries in June. On June 3, following the final primaries in Montana and South Dakota, Obama passed the delegate threshold and became the presumptive Democratic nominee. He officially secured the party’s nomination on August 27 at the Democratic National Convention in Denver and went on to win the general election on November 4.
Secretary of state and 2016 presidential candidate
In December 2008 Obama selected Clinton to serve as secretary of state, and she was easily confirmed by the Senate in January 2009. Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state was widely praised for improving U.S. foreign relationships. She resigned from her post in 2013 and was replaced by former Massachusetts senator John Kerry. Hard Choices, a memoir of her experiences as secretary of state, was published in 2014. The following year it was revealed that she had used a private e-mail address and server while secretary of state, which raised concerns over both security and government transparency. The FBI eventually launched an investigation into the matter.
In April 2015 Clinton announced that she was entering the U.S. presidential election race of 2016, and she immediately became the favourite to win the Democratic nomination. However, her campaign faced an unexpected challenge from Bernie Sanders, a senator who was a self-described “democratic socialist.” Clinton, seen as a political insider, initially struggled to counter Sanders’s populist policies, which she criticized as unrealistic. Instead, she advocated a “sensible agenda,” which was based on traditional Democratic goals, notably tax increases on the wealthy, an increase to the minimum wage, and immigration reform. In addition, she supported stricter Wall Street regulations, though her past connections to the banking and investment industry—notably in the form of corporate speeches and campaign donations—drew scrutiny. As a former secretary of state, Clinton highlighted her foreign-policy experience, and she backed a strong U.S. presence overseas.
Although Clinton entered the primary election season in February 2016 with a number of questions surrounding her campaign—including the ongoing e-mail scandal—by the following month she had emerged as the clear front-runner. On June 7 Clinton claimed the Democratic nomination following wins in several states, notably California. The following month the FBI concluded its e-mail probe, with Director James Comey recommending that no charges be brought against Clinton, though he stated that she had been “extremely careless” in her handling of classified material. The decision drew criticism from her opponents as Clinton looked to move past the scandal. On July 12 she was officially endorsed by Sanders.
Later that month Clinton selected Sen. Tim Kaine as her vice presidential running mate. On July 26, 2016, at the Democratic National Convention, she was named the party’s nominee. Clinton’s Republican opponent was Donald Trump, a businessman whose outsider status and political incorrectness had helped him appeal to previously underappreciated voters and secure his party’s nomination. As the two faced off, the campaign became increasingly negative and highly acrimonious. Trump accused Clinton of being “crooked” and stated that she should be jailed over the e-mail scandal. In addition, she faced quid pro quo allegations in connection with her husband’s charitable organization, the Clinton Foundation. Notably, she was accused of granting special treatment to donors while serving as secretary of state. She denied the various charges, but many polls indicated that the majority of Americans found her untrustworthy.
Clinton countered by raising doubts about Trump’s temperament and political inexperience, portraying her lengthy career in public service as an asset. She also questioned his business dealings and tax returns—which he refused to release, in contrast to the standard practice for major-party presidential candidates since the 1970s. However, she struck a particular chord when she repeatedly challenged his treatment of women, notably highlighting a series of negative comments he had made. Then in October 2016 a hot-mic video from 2005 surfaced in which Trump stated that “when you’re a star…you can do anything,” including grabbing a woman’s genitals. He dismissed it as “locker room talk,” but a series of women subsequently accused him of past sexual assaults. Although he denied the allegations, support for Clinton increased in the following weeks, particularly among women voters, a demographic with which Trump struggled. As election day neared, many polls showed Clinton with a sizable lead, and she appeared to be making inroads into traditionally Republican states. Those polls apparently had failed to capture the support enjoyed by Trump in several key Midwestern states, however, and on November 8, 2016, Clinton was defeated in her bid for the presidency. In What Happened (2017), she wrote candidly about the election and offered reasons why she lost.The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica