In November, we told you about an effort to name the U.S. Post office at 6 Doyers St. in Chinatown for suffragette Mabel Lee. Legislation just passed the House of Representatives this week. It now heads to the Senate.
U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, who authored the measure, said in a statement, “I’m proud my colleagues have approved my bill that would honor Mabel Lee’s legacy… (She) was a steadfast advocate for women’s rights and for the greater Asian American community. Her hard work and activism empowered many, bringing more Chinese-American women into the electoral process and helping them to secure voting rights.”
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.