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Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVOTE) Mourns the Passing of Secretary Norman Y. Mineta


May 4, 2022

Contact: Ruoping Chen,, (202) 223-9170

Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVOTE) Mourns the Passing of Secretary Norman Y. Mineta


WASHINGTON, DC  Christine Chen, Executive Director of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, issued the following statement after the passing of Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, one of the most-respected Asian American political leaders in United States history. 

“We are heartbroken about the passing of Secretary Norman Y. Mineta. He was a political giant not only for all Americans but especially in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, motivating and mentoring generations of AAPIs to get involved and make a difference. Mineta’s career is well-decorated in accomplishments, but perhaps his most important was creating a pipeline for AAPIs like me to advocate for our communities and make sure we are heard.” 

“Many Americans will remember Secretary Mineta for his calm, competent and unprecedented response to 9/11, his leadership in the creation of the Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”), and his stewardship of the legislation that helped victims of the Japanese American internment camps receive reparations. For many of us he will also be remembered as a founding father of the ecosystem that created many AAPI advocacy organizations that exist today – including APIAVote.”

“When I first came to DC as an intern for the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), I vividly remember Secretary Mineta personally addressing me by my name after meeting me only once in passing. That feeling of being heard and remembered inspired me, and I continue to do my best to emulate his capacity to make people feel special. When I heard about Secretary Mineta’s passing, I was on my way back from completing my tenure as a resident fellow with the Institute on Politics at Harvard Kennedy School, and was reminded of my most cherished memory of him: his lifelong commitment to inspiring the next generation – a commitment he has also instilled in me.”

“APIAVote is honored to continue his legacy as a mentor and visionary through our Norman Y. Mineta Leadership Institute (“NYMLI”). Launched in 2006, the institute focuses on providing leadership training exemplifying and promoting civic participation and public service. In honor of its namesake, NYMLI trains participants to be non-partisan advocates for their communities and provides them the leadership skills needed to be a well rounded civic leader.”

“Secretary Mineta leaves behind a big hole not only in our communities and in our hearts, but within the political world. As a true bastion of bipartisanship, he represents what is missing in today’s politics. As he once said, ‘there are no Democratic or Republican bridges.’ Secretary Mineta worked across the aisle to empower and uplift all Americans – no matter their creed. He served as a Secretary in both the Clinton and Bush administrations and was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush for his exemplary service. We will cherish and honor his legacy for years to come, and we hope we can give his life’s work justice. We will be keeping his family and friends in our thoughts and prayers during this time.” 




About APIAVote: Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) is the nation’s leading nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to engaging, educating, and empowering Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities to strengthen their voices and create impact. For 15 years, APIAVote has been at the forefront of a rising movement to ensure AAPIs are represented and heard, leading to historic voter turnout and advancing equity for AAPI communities. Learn more at