House Celebrates Norman Mineta, Ignores His Ideas

mineta

Congratulations are in order for former DOT chief Norman Mineta. The House of Representatives just voted, 384 to 0, to honor his accomplishments.

Unfortunately, they still can’t muster the votes to follow his urgent recommendations: that the country ramp up our investments in infrastructure, that we switch from a gas tax to a VMT fee, that we think of projects in terms of long-term economic benefit and not just short-term job creation.

We’re impressed, too, by Mineta’s history, from an incarcerated Japanese-American during World War Two to serving as the first Asian-American Cabinet secretary for a U.S. president (first as Commerce Secretary under Clinton, then Transportation Secretary under George W. Bush.) And now he’s an advocate for big changes he says are necessary to keep this country competitive. Where’s the unanimous House vote to support that?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Bush Transpo Secretary’s Biggest Disappointment: Bush

|
DC Velocity magazine has just released a lengthy interview with Norman Mineta, the Bush-era transportation secretary and former Democratic member of Congress. Former U.S. DOT chief Mineta (r.), with his biggest disappointment. (Photo: Academy of Achievement) In the interview, Mineta — who now works on infrastructure at the consulting firm Hill & Knowlton — spoke […]

Is Transpo Funding Fundamentally a PR Problem? Five Ex-DOT Chiefs Discuss

|
How can you convince Americans that transportation is important enough to invest in? That’s the question that brought together five former U.S. Transportation Secretaries this week at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. James Burnley was deputy secretary and then secretary under President Reagan. He took the position that “75 percent” of the public “gives […]

A Dear Abby for Transportation Secretaries: Advice From Foxx’s Predecessors

|
Yesterday, the University of Virginia’s Miller Center invited six former transportation secretaries to talk about the possibilities of presidential influence over transportation and to give advice to Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, whose nomination for the job was announced that same day. James Burnley (1987-1989, under Reagan): “His challenge is to establish his leadership as early […]

How Will the Next Transpo Secretary Build on Ray LaHood’s Legacy?

|
He strung it out long enough, but Ray LaHood has finally announced that he’s resigning as Transportation Secretary. Speculation has been rampant for months about who could replace him, and now it kicks into high gear. Matt Yglesias captured the sentiments of many transportation advocates when he tweeted yesterday, “Ray LaHood was a surprisingly good DOT […]

Drawing Ideas From Reformers, Obama Gets Behind 6-Year Transpo Plan

|
President Obama told reporters today that he’s committed to a six-year plan to rebuild 150,000 miles of roads, lay and maintain 4,000 miles of railways, restore 150 miles of runways, and create a national infrastructure bank. He made his remarks after meeting with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, former Secretaries Samuel Skinner and Norman Mineta, L.A. […]

Meet Your Next Transportation Secretary

|
Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx just accepted President Obama’s nomination to be the next transportation secretary. Before we get into the details of Anthony Foxx’s résumé and policy positions, let’s just take a moment to appreciate this: The White House has nominated a mayor to be secretary of transportation. There is often a wide gulf between […]