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Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Representing the 7th District of New York


Velázquez Works to Mark Chinatown Post Office in Memory of Local Suffragette

Velázquez Works to Mark Chinatown Post Office in Memory of Local Suffragette
November 29, 2017
Press Release

Introduces Legislation to Name Local Post Office after Mabel Lee

Washington, DC –Today, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) announced new legislation to honor the groundbreaking life of Mabel Lee by naming a Chinatown post office in Lee’s memory. A pioneering figure, 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. “From speaking out in the classroom to organizing Chinese-American women to secure the right to vote, 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, H.R. 4463 would rename a Post Office at 6 Doyers Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown, the “Mabel Lee Memorial Post Office.”  

“I urge my colleagues to honor Ms. Lee’s spirit of resilience and justice by supporting my bill to celebrate her legacy through the naming of the Mabel Lee Memorial Post Office,” said Velázquez. “At a time of great risk, Lee saw no barrier too big towards advancing the rights of women and Chinese-Americans. We owe her tremendous gratitude.”