Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink (December 6, 1927 – September 28, 2002) was an American lawyer and politician from the U.S. state of Hawaii. Mink was a third generation Japanese American and member of the Democratic Party. She also was the Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.
Mink served in the U.S. House of Representatives for a total of 12 terms, representing Hawaii's at-large and second congressional districts. While in Congress she was noted for co-authoring the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act.
Mink was the first non-white woman and the first Asian American woman elected to Congress. She was also the first woman elected to Congress from the state of Hawaii, and became the first Asian-American to seek the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party in the 1972 election, where she stood in the Oregon primary as an anti-war candidate. From 1978 to 1981, Mink served as the president of Americans for Democratic Action.
|Member of the|
U.S. House of Representatives
September 22, 1990 – September 28, 2002
|Preceded by||Daniel Akaka|
|Succeeded by||Ed Case|
January 3, 1965 – January 3, 1977
|Preceded by||Thomas Gill|
|Succeeded by||Daniel Akaka|
|Constituency||At-large Seat B (1965–71)|
2nd district (1971–77)
|Member of the Honolulu City Council|
from the 9th district
December 1, 1982 – December 1, 1986
|Succeeded by||John DeSoto|
|Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs|
March 28, 1977 – May 1, 1978
|Preceded by||Frederick Irving|
|Succeeded by||Thomas R. Pickering|
|Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus|
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1977
|Preceded by||Leonor Sullivan|
|Succeeded by||Shirley Chisholm|
Patsy Matsu Takemoto
December 6, 1927
Paia, Hawaii Territory, U.S.
|Died||September 28, 2002 (aged 74)|
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
|Resting place||National Cemetery of the Pacific|
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
University of Hawaii at Manoa (BS)
University of Chicago (JD)
Mink's parents were second-generation Japanese Americans or Nisei. She was a Sansei, or third-generation descendant of Japanese emigrants. Her father, Suematsu Takemoto, was a civil engineer. Her mother, Mitama Tateyama, was a homemaker. Suematsu Takemoto graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1922, the first Japanese American to graduate from the University of Hawaii.
For several years, Mink's father was the only Japanese American civil engineer working in Maui. He was passed over for promotion several times during his career, the positions instead offered to white Americans. He resigned his local position in 1945 in the aftermath of World War II, and moved to Honolulu with his family. He established his own land surveying company in Honolulu.
Mink's maternal grandparents were Gojiro Tateyama and his wife Tsuru. Gojiro was born in the Empire of Japan during the 19th century. He arrived in the Territory of Hawaii late in the century, and was employed on a sugarcane plantation. He later moved to Maui, and was initially employed as a worker for the East Maui Irrigation Company. Subsequently, Gojiro was employed as a store manager and filling station employee. He also delivered mail throughout the backcountry of Maui.
The Tateyamas lived in a shack by Waikamoi Stream. They had eleven children. William Pogue, Gojiro's employer at the Irrigation Company, arranged to have the Tateyama female children educated at the Maunaolu Seminary, a boarding school for Christian girls located in the town of Makawao.
Mink was born in Hāmākua Poko on the island of Maui. She attended Maui High School and in her junior year won her first election to become student body president. The month before her election, Honolulu was attacked by Japan. Her coalition-building strategy worked and she won a close election. In 1944, Mink graduated from high school as class valedictorian.
Mink moved to Honolulu where she attended the University of Hawaii at Mānoa with medical school and a career in medicine her ultimate goal. During her sophomore year, she was elected president of the Pre-Medical Students Club and was selected as a member of the varsity debate team. She spent one semester (from September 1946–January 1947) enrolled at Wilson College, a small women's college in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, before transferring to the University of Nebraska where she once again faced discrimination. The university had a long-standing racial segregation policy whereby students of color lived in different dormitories from the white students. This angered Mink, and she organized and created a coalition of students, parents, administrators, employees, alumni, sponsoring businesses and corporations. She was elected president of the Unaffiliated Students of the University of Nebraska, a "separate" student government for non-white students who were prevented from joining fraternities, sororities, and regular dormitories. Mink and her coalition successfully lobbied to end the university's segregation policies the same year.
After her successful fight against segregation at the University of Nebraska, Mink experienced a serious thyroid condition that required surgery and moved back to Honolulu to heal and finish her final year of college at the University of Hawaii. She earned bachelor's degrees in zoology and chemistry from the university. In 1948, none of the twenty medical schools to which she applied would accept women. A disappointed Mink decided the best way to force medical schools to accept women would be through the judicial process. Mink decided to go to law school.
Mink applied to the University of Chicago Law School. Unusually, the school had admitted women from its inception in 1902, and Mink attended law school with several other women. Mink obtained her Juris Doctor degree in 1951.
While attending the University of Chicago Law School, Patsy met hydrologist John Mink while playing bridge at the International House. He would become her husband and lifelong partner. Unable to find work as a married, female, Asian-American attorney, she returned to her student job at the University of Chicago Law School library while her husband found work immediately with the United States Steel Corporation. In 1952, Patsy gave birth to daughter Gwendolyn (Wendy), who later became a prominent author and educator on labor and women's issues. The family soon moved Hawaii in August 1952.
By law, Patsy was required to take the residency status of her husband after marriage and needed to re-establish her Hawaiian residency in order to prove that she was eligible to take the Hawaii bar exam. After challenging the statute as sexist, Hawaii's attorney general ruled that since she had not ever physically resided in Pennsylvania, she had not assumed her husband’s Philadelphia residency status.
After passing the bar exam in June 1953, Mink continued to face gender discrimination in finding work as an attorney in the private or public sector. She created a solo practice with the help of her father. She was the first Japanese woman to practice law in Hawaiian territory. Mink founded the Everyman Organization, a group that served as the hub of the Young Democrats club on Oahu. She was elected chairman of the territory-wide Young Democrats, "a group that would wield a remarkable influence over Hawaiian politics for several decades." In 1954, Patsy worked to help elect John A. Burns to Congress. The following year, she worked as staff attorney during the 1955 legislative session and drafted statutes and observed the inner-workings of the legislature.
As the Territory of Hawaii debated statehood in 1956, Mink was elected to the Hawaii Territorial Legislature representing her district in the territorial House of Representatives. In 1958, she was elected to serve in the territorial Senate. In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state of the Union and Mink ran in the Democratic primary for the state's at-large congressional seat. She was defeated by Territorial Senator Daniel Inouye. From 1962 to 1964, Mink served in the Hawaii State Senate.
In 1964, Mink became the first Asian-American woman (and first woman of an ethnic minority) to be elected to the United States Congress. She served six consecutive terms. Mink took what she learned in high school and built some of the most influential coalitions in Congress. Her most important coalition was one to support the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act, of which she was one of the principal authors and sponsors, prohibiting gender discrimination by federally funded institutions, an outgrowth of the adversities Mink faced through college.
In 1970, Mink became the first Democratic woman to deliver a State of the Union response. That same year, she was the first witness to testify against President Nixon's Supreme Court nominee George Harrold Carswell, who would eventually be rejected by the Senate. Harry Blackmun would eventually be confirmed instead.
Mink also introduced the first comprehensive Early Childhood Education Act and authored the Women's Educational Equity Act. All of these laws written by Mink were declared landmark laws by Congress as they advanced equal rights in America beyond what could be imagined during the time. Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act was renamed by President George W. Bush on 29 October 2002 to become the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act; she co-authored and sponsored the Act while in the House. In 1975 she was the chief sponsor of HR 9924, granting $5 million in total tax-payer contributions ($23.3 million in 2018 dollars) for both the state and National Women's Conference which President Gerald Ford signed into law.
In 1976, Mink gave up her seat in Congress to run for a vacancy in the United States Senate. After she lost the primary election for the Senate seat to Hawaii's other U.S. Representative, Spark Matsunaga, President Jimmy Carter appointed Mink as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. She served under Cyrus Vance and Edmund Muskie.
After her service in the Carter Administration, Mink settled in Honolulu, where she was elected to the Honolulu City Council. Her peers on the council eventually elected her Chairwoman, and she often butted heads with the controversial Mayor of Honolulu Frank Fasi.
In 1990, Mink was elected to her old House seat in a special election triggered when her successor in the House, Daniel Akaka, was appointed to the Senate to succeed Matsunaga, who had died in office. She was elected to a full term later in 1990, and reelected six times. She served alongside Neil Abercrombie, who represented the inner Honolulu-based 1st District.
On August 30, 2002, Mink was hospitalized in Honolulu's Straub Clinic and Hospital due to complications from chickenpox. Her condition steadily worsened, and on September 28, 2002, Mink died in Honolulu of viral pneumonia, at age 74.
Hawaii and the nation mourned; Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ordered all flags at military institutions lowered to half staff in honor of her contributions toward the equal rights of Americans. Mink received a national memorial and was honored with a state funeral in the Hawaii State Capitol Rotunda attended by leaders and members of Congress. She is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. In 2007, Central Oahu Regional Park on Oahu was renamed "Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park" in her honor.
Mink's death occurred one week before the 2002 primary election, too late for her name to be removed from the general election ballot. On November 5, 2002, Mink was posthumously re-elected to Congress. Her vacant seat was filled by Ed Case after a special election on January 4, 2003.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Hawaii's at-large congressional district
|New constituency|| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Hawaii's 2nd congressional district
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Hawaii's 2nd congressional district
| Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
|Party political offices|
| Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus
| Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
The 1972 Democratic presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Democratic Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 1972 U.S. presidential election. Senator George McGovern of South Dakota was selected as the nominee through a series of primary elections, caucuses, and state party conventions, culminating in the 1972 Democratic National Convention held from July 10 to July 13, 1972, in Miami, Florida.1972 United States House of Representatives elections in Hawaii
Both of Hawaii's incumbents were re-elected.2000 United States House of Representatives elections in Hawaii
The 2000 House elections in Hawaii occurred on November 7, 2000 to elect the members of the State of Hawaii's delegation to the United States House of Representatives. Hawaii had two seats in the House, apportioned according to the 2000 United States Census.
These elections were held concurrently with the United States Senate elections of 2000, the United States House elections in other states, and various state and local elections.2002 United States House of Representatives elections in Hawaii
The 2002 House elections in Hawaii occurred on November 5, 2002 to elect the members of the State of Hawaii's delegation to the United States House of Representatives. Hawaii had two seats in the House, apportioned according to the 2000 United States Census.
These elections were held concurrently with the United States Senate elections of 2002, the United States House elections in other states, and various state and local elections.
Of Hawaii's Congressional districts, the race in the 2nd district received the most attention. Representative Patsy Mink, despite her death following renomination, was posthumously re-elected, thus triggering a subsequent special election to fill the vacancy.2002–2003 Hawaii's 2nd congressional district special elections
There were two United States House of Representatives special elections in Hawaii's 2nd congressional district within 35 days of each other to select the successor to Democrat Patsy Mink who had died from pneumonia. The elections, held November 30, 2002 and January 4, 2003, were officially nonpartisan and each held as general elections without primaries to pick a successor for the remainder of her term in the 107th Congress and for the next term in the 108th Congress, to which Mink was posthumously re-elected. Both elections were won by Democrat Ed Case.Bernice Sandler
Bernice Resnick Sandler (March 3, 1928 – January 5, 2019) was an American women's rights activist born in New York. Sandler is best known for being instrumental in the creation of Title IX, a portion of the Education Amendments of 1972, in conjunction with Representatives Edith Green (D-OR) and Patsy Mink (D-HI) and Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN) in the 1970s. She has been called "the Godmother of Title IX" by The New York Times.Sandler wrote extensively about sexual and peer harassment towards women on campus, coining the terms "gang rape" and "the chilly campus climate".She received numerous awards and honors for her work on women's rights and was inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame in 2010, and the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2013. Some of her papers are currently held in the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, at the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.Central Oahu Regional Park
The Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park (CORP) is a 269-acre (1.09 km2) public park operated by the City and County of Honolulu. It held its grand opening on July 21, 2001 and it is located in Waipio, Oahu just off the Kamehameha Highway.The Central Oahu Regional Park complex currently includes a 20-court tennis center, which opened in 2003; the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center, four youth baseball diamonds, four regulation size baseball diamonds, a four diamond softball complex, as well as other multipurpose fields, and a 20-lane archery range.
CORP plays host to many different sporting events including swimming, baseball, soccer, football etc. It is also the home field for the Hawaii Pacific University Sea Warrior baseball team, the Chaminade University Silversword softball team as well as being the home of the 2007 Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) Softball Tournament.
The Hanwha Eagles (Korea Baseball Organization) uses the baseball field annually during spring training.
The park was renamed after U.S. Representative Patsy Mink in 2007.Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), founded on May 16, 1994 by former Congressman Norman Mineta, is a bicameral caucus consisting of members of the United States Congress who have a strong interest in promoting Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues and advocating the concerns of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. While CAPAC describes itself as non-partisan, all of its current members are Democrats, though some past members, such as Joseph Cao, have been Republicans. This caucus generally includes members of East Asian, Southeast Asian, South Asian or Pacific Islander descent, members with high concentrations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in their district, or those with an interest in AAPI issues.Daniel Akaka
Daniel Kahikina Akaka (; September 11, 1924 – April 6, 2018) was an American educator and politician who was a United States Senator from Hawaii from 1990 to 2013.
A member of the Democratic Party, Akaka was the first U.S. Senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry.Born in Honolulu, he served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. He attended the University of Hawaii, where he received his bachelor's and master's degrees. Originally a high school teacher, Akaka went on to serve as a principal for six years. In 1969, the Department of Education hired him as a chief program planner. In the 1970s, he served in various governmental positions.
Akaka was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1976 to represent Hawaii's Second Congressional District, and he served for 13 years. In 1990, he was appointed to the U.S. Senate to succeed the deceased Spark Matsunaga, subsequently winning the special election to complete Matsunaga's term. He would later be re-elected to three full terms. In March 2011, he announced he would not run for re-election in 2012.After fellow U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye died on December 17, 2012, Akaka became the state's senior senator, and briefly remained so until he left office on January 3, 2013. He was succeeded by fellow Democrat Mazie Hirono.Ed Case
Edward Espenett Case (born September 27, 1952) is an American Democratic politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Hawaii's 1st congressional district, which covers the urban core of Honolulu. He represented the 2nd district, which covers the rest of the state, from 2002 to 2007.
Case, a Blue Dog Democrat, first came to prominence in Hawaii as majority leader of the Hawaii State Legislature and in his 2002 campaign for governor of Hawaii.
First elected to the House of Representatives in 2002 in a special election to fill the seat of Patsy Mink, who died of pneumonia, Case represented Hawaii's 2nd congressional district until 2006, when he unsuccessfully challenged Daniel Akaka in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate.
In 2010 Case was one of two Democratic candidates in the special election for Hawaii's 1st congressional district. With the Democratic vote split, Republican Councilman Charles Djou's 39% of the vote earned him the seat. Case ran again in the Democratic primary for the November general election, but suspended his campaign in May. Colleen Hanabusa, Case's fellow Democrat in the special election, went on to win the primary and the general election against Djou. Case again ran for the Senate in 2012 after Daniel Akaka announced his retirement, but lost to Mazie Hirono.In July 2013 Case announced that he was joining Outrigger Enterprises Group and that his political career was "likely" over. In June 2018, Case reversed his decision and announced he would run again in Hawaii's 1st congressional district. Case won the crowded Democratic primary election in August 2018, and went on to win the general election. He took office in January 2019.Hawaii's 2nd congressional district
Hawaii's 2nd congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The district encompasses all rural and most suburban areas of Oahu/Honolulu County, as well as the entire state outside of Oahu. Besides Honolulu, the district includes the counties of Kauai, Maui, Kalawao and Hawaii ("the Big Island"). The district spans 331 miles. The most populous community entirely within the district is Hilo. Major segments of the economy include tourism, ranching and agriculture, especially pineapple and sugarcane cultivation.
The district is represented by Democrat Tulsi Gabbard.Leonor Sullivan
Leonor Kretzer Sullivan (August 21, 1902 – September 1, 1988) was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Missouri. She was a Democrat and the first woman in Congress from Missouri.List of United States Representatives from Hawaii
The following is an alphabetical list of members of the United States House of Representatives from the state of Hawaii. For chronological tables of members of both houses of the United States Congress from the state (through the present day), see United States Congressional Delegations from Hawaii. The list of names should be complete (as of January 3, 2015), but other data may be incomplete. It includes members who have represented both the state and the Territory, both past and present.List of most senior women in the United States Congress
Seniority in both houses of the United States Congress is valuable as it confers a number of benefits and is based on length of continuous service, with ties broken by a series of factors. The following lists the most senior women in either or both houses of Congress, sometimes called the "dean of women" in either chamber.Special elections to the 108th United States Congress
There were two special elections to the United States House of Representatives during 2003.
On January 4, 2003, Ed Case (D) was re-elected to Hawaii's 2nd congressional district. His predecessor, Patsy Mink (D) had died September 28, 2002 and was posthumously re-elected in November. Case was elected in a November 30, 2002 special election to finish the term that ended January 3, 2003. Case was then re-elected on January 4, 2003 to the new term.
On June 3, 2003, Randy Neugebauer (R) was elected to Texas's 19th congressional district. His predecessor, Larry Combest (R) had resigned May 31, 2003 after deaths in his family.Title IX
Title IX is a federal civil rights law in the United States of America that was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. This is Public Law No. 92‑318, 86 Stat. 235 (June 23, 1972), codified at 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681–1688. It was co-authored and introduced by Senator Birch Bayh in the U.S. Senate, and Congresswoman Patsy Mink in the House. It was later renamed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act following Mink's death in 2002.United States congressional delegations from Hawaii
These are tables of congressional delegations from Hawaii to the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives.Women's Educational Equity Act
The Women's Educational Equity Act (WEEA) of 1974 is one of the several landmark laws passed by the United States Congress outlining federal protections against the gender discrimination of women in education (educational equity). WEEA was enacted as Section 513 of P.L. 93-380. Introduced in the United States House of Representatives by Congresswoman Patsy Mink of Hawaiʻi, the legislation was conceived and drafted by Arlene Horowitz, a staff assistant to the education subcommittee on which Mink served. WEEA was intended to combat sex-role stereotyping in elementary and secondary schools.
In 1982, Leslie Wolfe, WEEA's director when Ronald Reagan was elected to the U.S. presidency, was transferred out of that position and people aligned with Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum were brought in to review grant proposals being considered for WEEA funds. In 1984, Congress to rewrote the WEEA legislation making its mission and purpose more explicit and therefore keeping its actions true to its original goal.During the Reagan Administration, the Assistant Secretary of Education, Jean Benish, implemented a review process which included all walks of people and provided a fair and equitable grant review process which was all inclusive of Women's Issues. In 1984, Congress rewrote the WEEA legislation making its mission and purpose more explicit.
In 2003, the George W. Bush administration ended federal funds for WEEA's Resource Center, a mechanism for collection and sharing of information about gender equity programs.The last documented funding for WEEA was in 2010. For the fiscal year 2018, the President's budget does not request funding for WEEA.
|One At-large seat (1959–1963)|
|Two At-large seat (1963–1971)|
Inductees to the National Women's Hall of Fame
|89th||Senate: H. Fong • D. Inouye||House: S. Matsunaga • P. Mink|
|90th||Senate: H. Fong • D. Inouye||House: S. Matsunaga • P. Mink|
|91st||Senate: H. Fong • D. Inouye||House: S. Matsunaga • P. Mink|
|93rd||Senate: H. Fong • D. Inouye||House: S. Matsunaga • P. Mink|
|93rd||Senate: H. Fong • D. Inouye||House: S. Matsunaga • P. Mink|
|94th||Senate: H. Fong • D. Inouye||House: S. Matsunaga • P. Mink|
|101st||Senate: D. Inouye • D. Akaka • S. Matsunaga||House: D. Akaka • P. Mink • P. Saiki|
|102nd||Senate: D. Inouye • D. Akaka||House: P. Mink • N. Abercrombie|
|103rd||Senate: D. Inouye • D. Akaka||House: P. Mink • N. Abercrombie|
|104th||Senate: D. Inouye • D. Akaka||House: P. Mink • N. Abercrombie|
|105th||Senate: D. Inouye • D. Akaka||House: P. Mink • N. Abercrombie|
|106th||Senate: D. Inouye • D. Akaka||House: P. Mink • N. Abercrombie|
|107th||Senate: D. Inouye • D. Akaka||House: P. Mink • N. Abercrombie • E. Case|