Lucretia Torva, Patsy, acrylic on canvas, 36"x48", 2020, $2,900
Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink (1927-2002)
Patsy Mink was the first woman of color elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and the first Asian-American woman to serve in Congress. In addition to writing bills like Title IX, the Early Childhood Education Act, and the Women's Educational Equity Act, Mink was the first Asian-American to run for U.S. President. She has a place in the National Women’s History Museum.
She was a third generation descendant of Japanese immigrants. When Hawaii became a state in 1959, Mink immediately began campaigning to be elected as a congresswoman, although her attempt was unsuccessful.
In 1964 Mink won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, making her the first Asian-American woman to serve in Congress. As a congresswoman, Mink fought for gender and racial equality, affordable childcare, bilingual education, and became a supporter of Title IX. She was one of the authors and sponsors of the Title IX law that stated that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Recognized for her work, Mink was asked by the Oregon Democrats to run for United States President with the support of their party. Unfortunately, she only received 2 percent of the vote. In 1990, Mink was reelected to Congress and served six terms in the House of Representatives. After her death, the Title IX law was renamed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act.
As with Jacinda, I chose a picture of Patsy smiling. She gladly chose the life of a public servant and left a lasting legacy of advancement for under-represented people. I love the very 60’s look of her suit and bouffant hairdo. Her determination to create legislation serving ALL of her constituents speaks to her hing level of compassion.