Pizarro: Good ideas blossom into trip to Presidential inauguration

By Sal Pizarro
spizarro@mercurynews.com

Updated:   01/16/2013 04:30:06 PM PST

U.S. Rep. Mike Honda is sending some residents in his district to President Barack Obama's inauguration Monday, but he did make them work for it.

Honda held a contest soliciting ideas for positive change from residents in his new 17th district. "I am encouraged by the number of responses received, especially from younger constituents," Honda said. "It's heartening to hear ideas from the future leaders of our country on how to effect progressive change."

The winners were Kennon Lee, a recent UC Berkeley grad from San Jose; Abdul Banafa, a Mission College student from Milpitas and IT support intern at ProHealth Home Care; and William Zhoa Wilson, a ninth-grader from Los Gatos who attends the Stevenson School in Monterey.

The ideas they shared to empower small business, improve education and bolster the Peace Corps "stood out as exemplary and fit into my own vision for moving our country forward."

Honda's office provided tickets to the inauguration ceremony; The trio are responsible for their own transportation to and from Washington, D.C., as well as their lodging while there. Each was also given a ticket for a companion. Lee is taking a friend, Banafa is bringing his brother and Wilson will be accompanied by his mom.


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