US Rep. Mike Honda answers students’ questions at Public Policy School workshop2 min read

Serena Scaglione, Staff writer

De Anza College students and faculty had the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns about political issues to U.S. Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, on Monday Nov. 4.

Honda, who represents California’s 17th Congressional District, was the guest speaker at a workshop hosted by De Anza’s Institute of Community and Civic Engagement and the political science department, part of a series of Public Policy School workshops.

The workshop served as an open forum rather than a lecture, allowing for a casual discussion of topics important to the De Anza community.

Myah Rodriguez, 19, liberal arts major, asked Honda who and what influences the decisions and actions he makes in Congress.

“I’m interested in how laws are made and how they get passed,” Rodriguez said. “I want to know where the power is.”

Honda said several factors can influence his decisions, but first research must be done.

Greg Druehl, a political science instructor and personal friend to Honda, asked him why there are more slick politicians and fewer public servants, like Honda, who care about their constituents.

“Mike’s not afraid to do that,” Druehl said. “He’ll come out here and talk to people and listen to people.”

Honda, who was laid back and personable throughout the workshop, helped students like Rodriquez see a different side of politics.

“I think he’s a really down-to-earth person and it just gave me hope that you can be genuine and still have an impact on society,” Rodriguez said.

The goal of the workshops is to spark students’ interest in policy change, said political science instructor Robert Ovetz.

“The idea is to teach students about what it means to do public policy advocacy,” Ovetz said. “If you want to engage in changing the way the government works, if you want to change policies and laws and the way that courts rule, that’s what the public policy school is all about.”

For more information about upcoming workshops on public policy, visit the ICCE page on the De Anza website for dates, times and information on guest speakers.

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