Press releases

Bipartisan torchbearer Norman Mineta remembered by Issue One

Media Contact

Cory Combs

Director of Media Relations

Miller Center / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Issue One mourns the loss of former Secretary of Transportation Norman “Norm” Mineta, an active member of our National Council on Election Integrity as well as our ReFormers Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of approximately 200 former members of Congress, governors, and Cabinet secretaries united to fix America’s broken political system.

Mineta passed away May 2, 2022, at the age of 90. Over the course of his life, the son of Japanese immigrants overcame adversity, including being relocated with his family to internment camps during World War II. He went on to serve the United States in multiple ways. Mineta was an Army intelligence officer with assignments in Korea and Japan, a San Jose city councilor, a member of Congress representing California, a Cabinet secretary in the administrations of two presidents (Democrat Bill Clinton and Republican George W. Bush), and a mentor to numerous future political leaders. Along the way, he overcame racial barriers by becoming the first Asian-American to hold many of these key posts.

Mineta’s zeal for change and bipartisan political reform was a hallmark of his career. In Washington, he advanced government accountability, became a bridge-builder between leadership and rank-and-file legislators, championed civil rights, was a leader in transportation policy, and was described as a cornerstone of stability in times of crisis.

Issue One officials and fellow National Council for Election Integrity and ReFormers Caucus members offered the following comments about Mineta’s rich legacy:

“Norm Mineta defined ‘pragmatic governance.’ He was both a friend and an example of what good government should be. Always respectful, he sought solutions and never allowed partisan differences to prevent good public policy.”

– Steve Gunderson, former congressman (R-WI)

“Secretary Mineta, despite being sent to an internment camp for Japanese Americans for several years during WWII, never showed anything but loyalty and love for his country. He practiced bipartisanship and served two presidents. He was the only Democrat to serve in President George W. Bush’s Cabinet, where he led as Secretary of Transportation after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. He was also a highly successful member of Congress from California and a dedicated member of the crosspartisan National Council on Election Integrity, organized to defend our democracy during the 2020 election.”

Tim Roemer, former congressman (D-IN) and ambassador

“It was a privilege to serve in Congress with Secretary Norm Mineta. He was kind, knowledgeable, fair, and effective. His legacy looms very large not just in California but across the United States and even overseas. Norm was a trailblazer and a great public servant.  He will be missed but never forgotten.”

— Zach Wamp, former congressman (R-TN)

“Norm Mineta was a patriot. He embodied the principles of courage, bravery, practicality, and poise throughout his entire career as a public servant. In life and in passing, Norm reminds us that we are all capable of overcoming impossible odds, following our calling, and embracing each other so that we might create a country we can all be proud to represent.”

– Nick Penniman, Issue One founder and CEO