— David Mineta, Norm’s son
SAN JOSE, CA, UNITED STATES, August 10, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Two years ago, a group of Norm Mineta’s friends began to fundraise for a 6-foot bronze statue to be installed at the entrance of the San Jose Mineta International Airport and are now inviting tax-deductible donations to complete the effort. The non-profit Quest Valley Charities (QVC) Inc. was created to lead the campaign. Honorary Co-chairs include Japanese American community leader Yosh Uchida, Congressmember Zoe Lofgren, State Senator Dave Cortese, Supervisor Cindy Chavez, and Mayor Sam Liccardo.
“Norman Y. Mineta was a tireless champion for our city—embodying our nation’s greatest ideals to secure bipartisan support to serve his community. It is only fitting that he is memorialized for his remarkable life and landmark achievements, in his hometown of San Jose,” expresses Mayor Liccardo.
With Mineta’s passing on May 3rd, 2022, the movement has gathered purpose with a desire to see him standing tall once again at his namesake airport. The first 15 donors of 10k or more will have their names engraved on the pedestal base. Every donor will be recognized at the statue’s dedication.
Rod Diridon Sr., President of QVC, Inc. worked closely with Mineta on the Valley’s transportation system. Mineta and Diridon also collaborated on legislation for Congress to authorize the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University.
“Norm Mineta is the most impactful person ever to come out of Santa Clara County,” Diridon said. “His great work will be remembered forever.”
Born a Japanese-American citizen on November 12, 1931, in San Jose, CA, Norman Yoshio Mineta never had what was considered a “conventional” life. Mineta’s Japanese immigrant parents were prohibited from becoming American citizens due to the Asian Exclusion Act. During World War II, Mineta’s family, alongside thousands of other Japanese immigrants, were forced from their homes and detained in internment camps.
Carl Guardino, Executive Vice President of Global Government Affairs and Policy for Bloom Energy and Vice Chair of the California Transportation Commission, explains further, “Early in his illustrious life, as a little boy sent to an internment camp during World War II, Norman Mineta made a conscious choice to ‘grow better, not bitter.’ Due to that decision, all of our lives have been improved by his service to our City, State, and Nation – As Mayor, Congressman, Cabinet Secretary to two Presidents, as well as mentor and friend to so many. This statue is a small tribute to a larger-than-life leader who has touched us all in such positive and profound ways.”
In 1953, Mineta graduated from the University of California, Berkeley School of Business Administration. After graduating, Mineta joined the U.S. Army and served as an intelligence officer in Japan and Korea.
Following his service in the U.S. Army, Mineta worked with his father at the Mineta Insurance Agency, and later became the first Asian-Pacific-American mayor of a major U.S. city and served over twenty years in Congress.
He later served as the first Asian-American Cabinet member as U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Bill Clinton and the only Democrat in George W. Bush’s cabinet as Transportation Secretary. Mineta was not only responsible for safely grounding all the airplanes after September 11, 2001, but also helped create the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and organized the Department of Homeland Security.
Joyce Iwasaki, Japanese Community Ambassador, “I’ve had the privilege of working with Norm and learned ways that helped him have an impact on his friends and family, in his community, his country, and the world. He did so by understanding that humanity is constantly changing, by being an attentive listener, by knowing how to work in alliances, and how important it is to respect all points of view. He was humble and likable. This statue project will remind people of Norm’s contribution at all levels.”
Mineta’s life-long work in demanding justice, freedom, and equality for all people has set the standard for moving forward in politics, personal affairs, and more.
Norm’s son, David Mineta, President and CEO of Momentum, shares, “It means so much to our family that a statue would be erected at the airport that bears his name. It is a permanent reminder about what he stood for and the values he learned growing up in this valley.”
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QVC President, Rod Diridon Sr.