Doris Matsui is always looking to the future. As a mother, grandmother, and Congresswoman she understands and cares for the needs of her constituents in the fifth district of California. She says, “My [grandchildren] are my touchstone to the future, you want to do everything you possibly can to ensure the future of that generation…and if we all think that way we can say…we may not benefit right now, but we certainly want to ensure that the future generations benefit.”
Working for Sacramento
Doris Matsui represents Sacramento, the capital of California, in Congress. As Sacramento’s representative, Doris Matsui works to address the many and varied needs of its diverse community. Since taking office, Rep. Matsui has fought for issues affecting her district such as flood control, investing in public transportation, and helping to create jobs in the emerging clean-tech industry.
Congresswoman Matsui has a long history as a community leader and recognizes the importance of local and national service projects. She is a strong proponent of the AmeriCorps*NCCC program, and was named the chair of the National Service Caucus because of her commitment to service projects. Rep. Matsui is recognized as a key force in restoring funding for the National Children’s Study, which gathers health information about children to better allow doctors to combat many of the diseases that plague the nation’s children.
A Story of Growth and Change
Doris Okada Matsui comes from a Japanese-American family. After the outbreak of World War II, the Okada family was moved to an internment camp in Poston, Arizona, where Congresswoman Matsui was born. According to Rep. Matsui, despite the challenges her mother and father faced, “they encouraged us to embrace everything… this is what this country is all about, the fact that we can grow, the fact that it has changed throughout the years, and we may have challenges…but somehow or another it works, and that’s the beauty of this country.”
Rep. Matsui grew up in Dinuba, California and received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, where she met her husband, Robert Matsui. Rep. Matsui and her husband were always active in both local and national politics. And, when President Clinton was elected to the White House, Congresswoman Matsui was on the President’s transition team and became Deputy Assistant to the President in the White House Office of Public Liaison. After her husband’s death in 2005, Congresswoman Matsui ran for and won a special election to represent the Sacramento community in Congress. She now serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Committee on Rules as well as the Smithsonian Institution's Board of Regents.