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[R.I.P.] Patsy Mink Dies

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  • madchinaman
    http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20020928_1521.html http://us_asians.tripod.com/timeline-2002.html#patsy-mink H O N O L U L U, Sept. 28 ? Hawaii Rep. Patsy
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 28, 2002

      H O N O L U L U, Sept. 28 ? Hawaii Rep. Patsy Mink, who had been
      hospitalized for nearly a month with viral pneumonia, died Saturday,
      her office said. She was 74.

      Mink died at Straub Clinic and Hospital, where she had been treated
      since Aug. 30 for viral pneumonia stemming from chickenpox, according
      to a statement from her Washington office.

      The Democrat had been a member of the House for 24 years over two
      different stretches. She won re-election two years ago by a nearly
      two-to-one margin, and had been considered a sure winner in the Nov. 5
      general election.

      Mink's spokesman, Andy Winer, had issued a statement Friday saying the
      congresswoman's "prospects for a recovery are poor." Until then,
      Mink's family had said only that she was in serious but stable
      condition and was receiving treatment.

      Her death came a week after she easily defeated little known perennial
      candidate Steve Tataii in the Sept. 21 primary election.

      Mink was one of Hawaii's most liberal politicians, often working
      outside the mainstream of the Democratic Party.

      She was an early opponent of the Vietnam War and accompanied fellow
      Rep. Bella Abzug, D-N.Y., to Paris to talk to participants in the
      Vietnam War peace talks.

      She supported women's rights, was against the death penalty and had as
      her spending priorities education, housing and health. Mink's strong
      liberal stands led conservative opponents to dub her "Patsy Pink."

      Mink believed one of her most significant accomplishments in Congress
      was Title IX of the Education Act, which she helped author in 1972. It
      mandated gender equality in any education program or activity
      receiving federal financial assistance.

      The law promotes equality in school athletics. Scholarship money for
      women increased from $100,000 in 1972 to $179 million in 1997 but was
      equally important in opening academics.

      "To be frank," Mink said in 1997, the 25th anniversary of Title IX, "I
      though this was great, a beginning statement of policy and intent. At
      the moment we were doing it, we didn't think it would have this
      fantastic momentum and the enforcement of the courts."

      After serving in the territorial and state legislatures, Mink was
      initially elected to Congress in 1964. She remained in the House until
      1976, when she lost to fellow Rep. Spark Matsunaga in the Democratic
      primary for the Senate.

      Matsunaga went on to win the election, but his death in 1990 led to
      Mink's return to Congress. She won a special election to fill out the
      term of Rep. Daniel Akaka, who was named to succeed Matsunaga in the

      She was re-elected that year and in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000.

      After losing her Senate bid, Mink remained in Washington for two years
      as an assistant secretary of state in the Carter administration.

      She returned to elective politics in 1982, winning a four-year term on
      the Honolulu City Council. She gave up the seat after one term and
      made an unsuccessful run for governor.

      Born Dec. 6, 1927 in Paia, Maui, Mink graduated from the University of
      Hawaii in 1948 before earning her law degree from the University of
      Chicago in 1951.

      Mink became part of a movement, mostly composed of second-generation
      Japanese-Americans many of them decorated World War II veterans that
      enabled Democrats to wrest control of Hawaii politics from Republicans.

      The GOP's decades-old grip was broken in 1954 when Democrats took
      control of the territorial Legislature. Mink was elected to the
      territorial House two years later, and won a seat in the state Senate
      in 1959.

      She is survived by her husband, John Mink, and daughter, Wendy.


      Washington, DC -- Congresswoman Patsy T. Mink (D-Hawaii-2nd
      District) is one of six women featured on the official National
      Women?s History Month commemorative poster for 2002 produced by the
      National Women?s History Project. The theme of the poster is ?Women
      Sustaining the American Spirit.?

      The text accompanying Congresswoman Mink?s photo on the poster is as

      The first Asian-American woman elected to the U.S. House of
      Representatives, she [Mink] played a key role in the enactment of
      Title IX expanding women?s educational opportunities.

      The poster can be viewed and ordered from the National Women?s History
      Project website at www.nwhp.org.

      In addition to Congresswoman Mink, the poster features the images of
      Mary Louise Defender Wilson, a Dakotah/Hidatsa storyteller whose work
      serves as a cultural bridge to the 21st century; Alice Coachman, the
      first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in track and
      field; Dorothy Height, a leader in the struggle for equality and human
      rights and president of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) for
      over 40 years; Dolores Huerta ,co-founder and leader of the United
      Farm Workers Union; and Gerda Lerner, the foremost pioneer in defining
      the scope and importance of the field of women's history and the first
      woman in fifty years to be elected president of the Organization of
      American Historians.

      The National Women?s History Project was founded in 1980, and each
      year it publishes a poster in celebration of National Women?s History

      Congresswoman Mink was also featured on a National Women?s History
      Month poster in March 2001 as one of nine ?Women of Courage and
      Vision.? Her co-honorees on that poster were Madame Curie, Sojourner
      Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Mary McLeod Bethune, Amelia
      Earhart, Ida L. Castro, and Janine Pease-Pretty On Top.


      Patsy Mink
      Coalition Builder for
      Greater Understanding

      Patsy Mink has served in the House of Representatives for twelve
      terms. She is the first woman of Asian descent to serve in the U.S.

      [Patsy Mink, Coalition Builder for Greater Understanding]

      Her ancestry is the classic story of immigrants seeking a better life
      in America for themselves and their families. Her four grandparents
      emigrated from Japan in the late 1800's to work as contract laborers
      in Maui's sugar plantations.

      Patsy was born in Maui in December of 1928. From her earliest years,
      she was encouraged to excel in academic courses. When she ran for
      student body president during her junior year in high school, she
      began her unofficial political career. World War II had begun and she
      was facing the anti-Japanese-American sentiment that prevailed
      throughout the country. She also had to overcome the obstacle of being
      the first girl to run for this office. To achieve this goal, she
      impressed a variety of students, including gaining the support of the
      popular football team. She won a very close election and learned the
      importance of coalition building. In 1944 she graduated as high school
      class valedictorian.

      She began college at the University of Hawaii, but transferred to the
      University of Nebraska where she faced a policy of segregated student
      housing. Working with other students, their parents, and even
      university trustees, this policy of discrimination was ended. She
      returned to the University of Hawaii to prepare for medical school and
      graduated with a degree in zoology and chemistry. However, in 1948,
      none of the twenty medical schools to which she applied would accept

      She decided to study law and was accepted by the University of Chicago
      because they considered her a "foreign student." Choosing not to
      inform the University that Hawaii was an American territory, she
      obtained her Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1951.

      Newly married, she became the first Asian-American woman to practice
      law in Hawaii. In 1956, she was elected to the Territorial House of
      Representatives. It was the beginning of a long and effective
      political life for Patsy Mink. In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state.
      In 1965, Patsy Mink was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives
      and began the first of six consecutive terms in the House of
      Representatives. She was the first woman of color to be elected to

      Mink's ability to build coalitions for progressive legislation
      continued during her tenure in Congress. She introduced the first
      comprehensive Early Childhood Education Act and authored the Women's
      Educational Equity Act.

      In the early 1970's, she played a key role in the enactment of Title
      IX of the Higher Education Act Amendments. Written in 1972 to be
      enacted by 1977, Title IX, which prohibited gender discrimination by
      federally funded institutions, has become the major tool for women's
      fuller participation not only in sports, but in all aspects of education.

      In 1977, Patsy Mink gave up her House seat to make an unsuccessful run
      for the US Senate, but in 1990 she was re-elected to the House. Her
      hard work is obvious as she serves on a variety of House Committees
      and Subcommittees. She has accomplished much in sustaining the
      American Spirit.
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