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Biography Doris Matsui

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Doris Matsui Doris Matsui
Doris Matsui
U.S. Representative for California since 2005 - member of the Democratic Party.


Doris Matsui Biography

ENG: Doris Okada Matsui (born September 25, 1944) is the U.S. Representative for California's 6th congressional district. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district consists of the city of Sacramento and the surrounding area. Following the death on January 1, 2005 of her husband, Bob Matsui, she was elected as his replacement in a special election on March 8, 2005, and took the oath on March 10, 2005.


Early life and career

Matsui was born in an Internment Camp at Poston, Arizona and grew up in Dinuba, in California's Central Valley. While attending the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned a B.A. in psychology, she met her husband. They had one child, Brian.

Matsui was a housewife and socialite and was active in the group "Lawyers' Wives", now called the Legal Auxiliary of Sacramento, while her husband was a local attorney and served on the Sacramento city council before his election to congress in 1979. The Matsuis moved to Washington DC shortly thereafter where they raised their son Brian.

Doris Matsui was a volunteer on the Clinton for President campaign. When he was elected, Matsui served on his transition team. Following the inauguration, she was appointed deputy special assistant to the president and deputy director of public liaison, working under Alexis Herman. One of her duties was to work with the Asian American community. The President appointed her to the board of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in September 2000.

She served in the White House from 1993 to 1998. Later she became a lobbyist in Washington where she represented corporate clients until 2005 when she returned to California to run for Congress against a field of local Democrats. Matsui vastly outspent her competitors and won the election easily.

Matsui speaks on the first day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, in her capacity as convention parliamentarian.


U.S. House of Representatives - Tenure

Matsui's husband, Bob, died from complications of myelodysplastic syndrome on January 1, 2005. On January 9, 2005, the day after his funeral, Matsui told supporters she was running for his open seat. In the special election she garnered 68% of the vote. Press reports said that Matsui won the election before the polls opened as most votes in the election were absentee ballots, which she won overwhelmingly.

In her inaugural speech, she spoke of the many people who encouraged her to run and her family. She pledged to continue the work of her husband, especially regarding flood control projects in Sacramento, the main city in the district.

Matsui is a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. As a member, she has been focused on making the Sacramento area a hub clean technology.

In 2007, Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Matsui to the Smithsonian Institution's Board of Regents, where she served until 2011. Matsui was one of only three House Members to sit on the board. In 2007, Matsui was instrumental in developing an overhaul of the oversight and accountability practices of the Smithsonian.

In a discussion about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Matsui said that as "more Americans get to know and understand the law, and feel its effects in their lives, the less the public will want to see us take steps back to the broken health care system we have experienced for decades in this country."

Matsui served as convention parliamentarian of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Matsui has been a supporter of earmarks, which have been a controversial topic. She defended her position, saying "members of Congress know their districts pretty well and know what they need."


Personal life

A widow, Matsui has one son, Brian. She has two grandchildren, Anna and Robby.





January 30, 2013

icon Doris Matsui
icon Doris Matsui

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