Busy, busy lawmakers to rename 85 the "Norman Y. Mineta Highway"
- Published Tuesday, February 27, 2007, by Bay City News Service
Leglislators pitch new name for highway
The first name most air travelers see upon arriving in the South Bay
is Norm Mineta's, San Jose's airport is named after him, and now a
group of local legislators want motorists to see it too by naming
most of a major highway after him.
Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, has authored a
resolution that proposes renaming almost all of state Highway 85
the "Norman Y. Mineta Highway." All of the state Assembly and Senate
members representing Santa Clara County have signed on as co-authors
of the resolution.
Lieber called Mineta the "pride of Silicon Valley" because of his
long and distinguished career in public service.
Mineta's 40-year career in politics stretched from the San Jose City
County all the way to the cabinet in the Clinton and George W. Bush
administrations. He served as Secretary of Commerce during President
Bill Clinton's final year in office and as Bush's Secretary of
Transportation from 2001-2006. Mineta, 74, began his career as a San
Jose city councilman in the late 1960s and was elected mayor of San
Jose in 1971, the first Asian-American mayor of a major U.S. city. He
spent 20 years representing much of Santa Clara County in the House
of Representatives before becoming an executive with Lockheed Martin
in 1995. He returned to public service in 2000 when he joined the
Clinton cabinet, becoming the first Asian-American to serve in a
presidential cabinet. He was the only Democrat to serve in the Bush
"We decided this was an appropriate way to honor his service," Lieber
The legislators surprised Mineta by announcing the proposal at a
retirement dinner held in his honor last week.
"He looked pretty surprised. He's not a flashy person, a very modest
person but he looked pleased," Lieber said.
Lieber expects the Legislature to pass the resolution in "the
next month or so." The portion of Highway 85 in Los Gatos that is
currently named for fallen CHP Officer Scott Greenley will remain
"Many people still remember his service," Lieber said of Greenley,
who was killed by a reckless driver in 1998 while issuing a citation
on Highway 85 near Saratoga Avenue.
[BATN: See also:
Column: Hwy 85 may be renamed the Norman Y. Mineta Highway