When Congressman Robert Matsui (D-California) died in 2005, a significant part of his legacy was entrusted to UC Berkeley. In 2007, the Robert T. Matsui Center on Politics and Public Service was established at the Institute of Governmental Studies(IGS), and his collection of papers was donated to The Bancroft Library.
On Oct. 29, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-California) came to the campus for a first-hand look at the Matsui program and archive.
Ethan Rarick, Matsui Center director, said the congresswoman visited the center to learn more about the program. “The mission of the center is to involve undergraduates in politics and in public policy,” said Rarick. The center offers internship programs at the local, state, and federal level and brings public figures, including elected and governmental officials, to campus.
This week, two events showcase the Center’s efforts: At 4 p.m. Nov. 1 at 109 Moses Hall, Mark DiCamillo, the director of the Field Poll, will provide an election-eve update, reporting on the latest polling numbers. Then on Nov. 2, the IGS Matsui Center election-night party begins at 5 p.m. at 109 Moses, where the campus community is invited to watch the returns on the big-screen TV. Pizza will be served and an expert panel will discuss what’s happening nationally and in California. Panelists include David Chai, former deputy press secretary for President Clinton; Jack Citrin, IGS director; and Max Neiman, IGS senior research fellow.
Rep. Matsui also visited the Bancroft Library, checking in on the efforts there to inventory the extensive collection of papers her husband has donated and the progress toward creating a searchable online catalog. The collection includes documentation of legislative efforts surrounding the North American Free Trade Agreement, and papers that delve into welfare reform, base closures, and reparations for Japanese-Americans sent to World War II internment camps.
The late congressman (1941-2005) served 13 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives representing his Sacramento district. Born on Sept. 17, 1941, Matsui was six months old when he and his family were taken from Sacramento and interned by the U.S. government at the Tule Lake War Relocation Center.
The family returned to Sacramento after the end of World War II, where Matsui remained until moving to the Bay Area in 1959 to attend UC Berkeley as a political science major. After graduation in 1963, Matsui attended UC’s Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, from which he graduated in 1966.
Matsui married his wife, Doris Okada, the same year and returned to Sacramento. He was first elected to Congress in 1978.