Former President Bill Clinton joined other dignitaries Thursday in San Jose to honor the late Norm Mineta who died May 3 at the age of 90.
Mineta became the first Asian American mayor in the high-tech city in 1960. He would go on to be elected to the House of Representatives in 1974. President Clinton made him the first Asian American to hold a cabinet post in 2000 when he named him his Secretary of Commerce. He would later become transportation secretary under President George W Bush.
“Mineta spent a lifetime trying to be a builder, not a breaker, a uniter, not a divider,” said Clinton, reported San Jose Spotlight. “Somebody who used his power to empower others, not to get more power for himself at other people’s expense.”
During his years in Congress, Mineta advocated for better access for those in wheelchairs.
“On every corner, every intersection, there are curb cuts. Only because Norm took the time to sit in a wheelchair for a week,” said Mike Honda who succeeded Mineta in Congress, according to ABC7.
During his years of public service, Mineta touched many lives.
“As far as I’m concerned, Norm did not die,” former Rep Leon Panetta said. “He continues to live in those that continue to fight for a better America.”
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