OCA Lauds Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta
Friday, 07 July 2006
Washington, DC – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta will be long remembered by the American people for his dedicated service to his country and for his passionate commitment to the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) community when he steps down today from his Cabinet post.
Secretary Mineta has served in many roles during his long career as a public servant. He entered the political arena in his native hometown of San Jose, California, first as a member of the City Council from 1967 to 1971 and as mayor from 1971 to 1974, becoming the first APIA mayor of a major U.S. city. Secretary Mineta went on to serve as a U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 1995. While on the Hill, he was the driving force behind the passage of H.R. 442, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which officially apologized for and redressed the injustices experienced by the more than 120,000 Japanese Americans forced into internment camps during World War II, including the Secretary and his family. He also co-founded the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and served as its first chair. In 1997, OCA presented then Congressman Mineta with its highest honor, the OCA Outstanding Citizen Award for his achievements and commitment to protecting the rights of all Americans.
"Secretary Mineta has been a true friend and fierce champion of our community,” said OCA National President Ginny Gong. "He was never one to back down from an issue he believed in, especially when it impacted the lives of those who did not have a voice or were not strong enough to be heard. His is an inspiration and a role model for all us and for future public servants,” she added.
Secretary Mineta became the first APIA Cabinet member during the Clinton administration as the Secretary of Commerce. In 2001, he was appointed as the U.S. Secretary of Transportation by President Bush. He is most admired for his leadership in the days following the September 11 terrorist attacks and for creating the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) with an effectiveness that has restored air travelers’ confidence in aviation security.
"We wish Secretary Mineta well in his future endeavors and are confident that whatever it is he chooses to devote himself to next, it will be in the best interest of our community and our country,” said OCA Executive Director Dorothy Wong.
# # # #
Founded in 1973, OCA, a national organization with over 80 chapters and affiliates across the country, is dedicated to advancing the social, economic, and political well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States.