A Salute by Barbara Turk

In November when perusing your ballot for the 2020  general election, please salute and thank our local League of Women Voters, many Oregonians, and past  League president, KATE MARQUEZ,  for  that mail-in ballot. 

Much time, many efforts put it on our ballot. It PASSED!  Oregon— first in the nation to have it. (But, do know  there were decades of  pro / con Oregon history before that vote by citizens.  Nothing good is ever easy.) Even today  OPB News states, “…in Oregon it’s old news”.  “It’s been a law now since 2000”, said Phil Keisling, former Secretary of State.

I want to salute KATE MARQUEZ,  for her continued heartfelt neighborliness and good works, for all of us. Here’s why:  After vote by mail, Kate spearheaded the drive to get non-partisan voting for Klamath County Commissioners on county ballot. PASSED!  Again with LWV, she worked on the Klamath County Transient Room Tax (TRT). 

It had been brought to the League’s attention that the county’s TRT supported  ONLY the fair grounds. Those folks had no interest in sharing any funds.  What about assisting  arts,  tourism, and their meaning to our county?  

Kate researched and shared with League:
Klamath County had  lowest TRT in the state, and how other TRT’s benefitted  their counties. (It was as if Klamath County was in the dark ages.)

To expand  TRT, League gathered petition signatures. One Third Thursday, Kate and I manned a booth, and explained the petition to a local businessman. His response:  “Well, this is a no-brainer.”   It made the county ballot, and PASSED!  

About TRT:  A tourist stays at a motel or private campground, pays a TRT  (we all do, whatever state we travel!).  It goes into our county, ”tourist” grants fund.  That  moniker actually is a very broad umbrella.  Many local groups have benefitted from the tax, including our county museums.   Such continues until voters change it.

In 2014 Kate was, ”the force behind petition to create a county charter”. It was defeated., But two out of three PASSED is great.

There is no sitting around for Kate.  She also participates in: 

***The Oregon Community Foundation Statewide Leadership Council 
***Klamath Community College Board of Trustees (public election)
***Ragland Rife Foundation Board
***Kate served seven months as RRT interim director, awaiting selection of a permanent, paid director
***Klamath County Tourism Grants Review. Board 
***Klamath County Rotary
***Philanthropic Quest (local trainings for nonprofits). 

That brings me to Kate’s connection to UUFKC.  Long ago I learned she knew about UU’ism from a marvelous source—an aunt, and  U.S. Senator,  Maurine Neuberger.  She became one of Oregon’s U.S. Senators  upon the passing of her husband, Senator Richard Neuberger.  Maurine was elected, Oregon’s first (so far only) female U.S. Senator.

Tho not a UUFKC member, Kate certainly is a, ”friend” and her lifetime activities are in step  with our seven principles, and UUA’s, “Side With Love”.  Kate’s giving of her skills to the region has been most ample.  I’ve shared only a portion. 

I wanted to nominate Kate for a 2020 Spirit Award.  But, in this time of Covid-19, wild fires, and smoke, all we can offer is:

                                                        KATE, THANK YOU!