Velázquez Bill to Rename Chinatown Post Office Passes in Committee
Washington, DC –Today, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform passed a bill authored by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) that would honor the groundbreaking life of Mabel Lee by naming a Chinatown post office in Lee’s memory. Velázquez’s bill, H.R. 4463 would rename a Post Office at 6 Doyers Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown, the “Mabel Lee Memorial Post Office.”
“I am proud that efforts to honor Mabel Lee are moving through Congress,” said Velázquez. “Mabel Lee was a pioneering figure who spoke out in the classroom and organized Chinese-American women to secure the right to vote. Her name deserves to be prominently displayed in the community, and the Committee’s passage today brings us one step closer to achieving this.”
Throughout her life, Lee was a dedicated champion for women’s rights and the Chinese-American community. As the first Chinese woman to receive a PhD from Columbia University, Lee spent her life fighting for women’s suffrage, Chinatown’s residents and the greater New York community.
“At a time when women were widely expected to spend a life in the home, Lee shattered one glass-ceiling after another,” said Velázquez. “Lee’s bold vision for Chinatown is very much alive in our community today.”
Working to improve her community, Lee tirelessly organized classes for Chinatown’s residents to build skills in areas such as carpentry, radio and typewriting. Moreover, Lee was just 22 years old and a recent graduate of Barnard College when she led a contingent of Chinese and Chinese-American women in a May 1917 pro-suffrage parade in New York City.
Velázquez’s bill passed the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform under unanimous consent. The bill must now be brought to the House floor for a vote.