WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., ranking member and chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Senators Tom Carper, D-Del., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., chair and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, as well as nine other Senators, led in the passage of the William T. Coleman, Jr., and Norman Y. Mineta Department of Transportation (DOT) Headquarters Act.
This legislation will name the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) headquarters after William T. Coleman, Jr., the first African American Secretary of Transportation, and Norman Y. Mineta, the first Asian American Secretary of Transportation.
The other cosponsors include U.S. Senators Bob Casey, D-Penn., Patrick Toomey, R-Penn., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Tim Scott, R-S.C., Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, Cory Booker D-N.J., James Inhofe, R-Okla., and John Barrasso, R-Wyo.
“As an accomplished legal scholar, World War II veteran, and civil rights leader, Mr. Coleman had already made his mark on history before being selected to serve as Secretary of Transportation. While at DOT, he provided a forward-looking vision for the future of transportation, spearheading the first comprehensive national transportation policy study and several important reform efforts,” Wicker said. “Norm Mineta’s work as U.S. Secretary of Transportation was vital to the United States’ response and recovery from the tragedy of 9/11. America is a better nation because of his trailblazing public service. Naming the Department of Transportation headquarters after these two distinguished public servants is a fitting tribute.”
“Transportation should be bipartisan and inclusive. Naming the Department of Transportation headquarters after William T. Coleman, Jr. and Norman Y. Mineta, two visionary public servants, honors everyone who has fought to break down barriers and make our transportation network better for all Americans,” Cantwell said.
“As dedicated public servants, William Thaddeus Coleman, Jr. and Norman Mineta broke countless barriers and made our nation a better place,” Carper said. “Coleman, a long-time civil rights giant, served as our country’s first African American Secretary of Transportation, and Mineta devoted his life to public service before becoming the first Asian American Secretary of Transportation. It is only fitting that we memorialize their service and leadership by renaming the U.S Department of Transportation headquarters in their honor. Passing this legislation moves us one step closer to making this a reality.”
“Both Secretaries Coleman and Mineta were pioneers in their times leading the Department of Transportation, helping advance American infrastructure and improve transportation safety across the country,” Capito said. “This renaming is a fitting tribute to these dedicated public servants, and I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of the legislation to commemorate their service.”
“I am proud to pass this bill to honor the late William Thaddeus Coleman Jr., a Philadelphia native who was the first African-American to serve as Secretary of Transportation,” Casey said. “From arguing 19 cases in front of the Supreme Court, including Brown v. Board of Education, to his time at the helm of the Department of Transportation, Secretary Coleman exemplified the virtues of public service. Today, the Senate honored his legacy.”
“William T. Coleman, Jr., changed America for the better helping desegregate public schools by coauthoring the legal brief in Brown v. Board of Education and serving as the first African-American Transportation Secretary. Naming the Department of Transportation Headquarters in Washington after him will ensure future generations can honor his legacy as a trailblazer, outstanding Pennsylvanian, and American leader. I look forward to seeing President Biden sign this bill into law,” Toomey said.
“I am so proud that our nation is honoring Secretary Coleman and Secretary Mineta in such a lasting way. Both men are important examples of people who achieved the American dream, not only through their professional careers but also with their ability to overcome adversity. From internment camps to the fight for civil rights, these men both saw a brighter future for our country and dedicated their lives to help make it a better place,” Duckworth said.
“I am glad the Senate passed legislation I cosponsored alongside Sen. Wicker to rename the Department of Transportation headquarters to the William T. Coleman, Jr., and Norman Y. Mineta Federal Building,” Inhofe said. “Secretaries Coleman and Mineta dedicated their lives to improving our nation’s transportation systems and it is fitting to honor their lives in this way.”
To read the bill, click here.
The Commerce Committee exercises jurisdiction over the DOT.