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Then Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta addresses the 2005 MTD Executive Board meeting.

The MTD joins the rest of the nation in mourning the passing of Norman Y. Mineta, who died May 3 at the age of 90.

Mineta, serving as U.S. Secretary of Transportation during the George W. Bush administration, addressed MTD Executive Board meetings in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

“Secretary Mineta was someone our industry could count on,” recalled MTD President Michael Sacco. “He always stood with us while serving in the Cabinet and the Congress.”

The California native served 20 years in the U.S. House of Representatives representing San Jose and nearby California cities. He rose to chair the House Transportation Committee before leaving Congress in 1995. In 2000, President Clinton nominated him to be Commerce Secretary. Upon confirmation, he became the first Asian-American to serve in the Cabinet.

In 2001, President Bush asked Mineta to stay in the Cabinet as the Transportation Secretary. He held the post into 2006.

Mineta never forgot being uprooted as a 10-year-old from his California home to spend 18 months with his family in a Wyoming internment camp created immediately after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941 to bring the United States into World War II. He championed civil liberties and worked hard to gain an official apology for those Japanese Americans from the federal government, which happened in 1988.