U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez has introduced legislation to rename a post office in Chinatown for suffragette Mabel Lee.
Lee, who died in 1966, was the first Chinese woman to receive a Ph.D. from Columbia University. After the sudden death of her father, she became the leader of the American Baptist Home Mission Society. She also led the First Chinese Baptist Church at 21 Pell St. Lee participated in the Women’s Political Equality League and organized a group of Chinese American women to March in a key 1917 pro-suffrage parade. Lee created classes for Chinatown’s residents in carpentry, typewriting and other skills.
In a press release, Velazquez said, “At a time when women were widely expected to spend a life in the home, Lee shattered one glass-ceiling after another. 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.”
The legislation would rename a Post Office at 6 Doyers St. as the “Mabel Lee Memorial Post Office.”