Kate Brown is the current Governor of Oregon. On top of this, she has been involved in state politics for a long time, having held important positions in both the legislative branch and the executive branch beforehand. In the present time, Brown is overseeing the reopening of Oregon, which is expected to enter into Phase 2 in the not too distant future.
1. Born in Torrejón de Ardoz, Spain
Brown was born in the Spanish municipality of Torrejón de Ardoz, which can be found in the Community of Madrid. Generally speaking, the municipality is known for the presence of the European Union Satellite Centre as well as the Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial. However, since Brown’s father was serving in the U.S. Air Force in those times, that presumably means that she was born in Torrejón de Ardoz because of Torrejón Air Base. In short, the air base is occupied by the U.S. Air Force on a joint basis because of an agreement made with Francisco Franco, the Spanish general who won the Spanish Civil War before continuing on to rule the country as a dictator from 1939 to 1975.
2. Studied in Both Colorado and Oregon
Having said that, Brown was raised in Minnesota. Later, she went to the University of Colorado Boulder where she earned a BA in environmental conservation as well as a certificate in women’s studies. Something that was followed up by a JD in environmental law from Lewis & Clark College’s Northwestern School of Law.
3. Rose High in the Oregon Legislative Assembly
In 1991, Brown entered the Oregon House of Representatives via appointment, which was necessary because her predecessor had taken an executive appointment. Soon enough, Brown was elected to a second term in the Oregon House of Representatives and then three terms in the Oregon Senate. By 2003, she was the Majority Leader of the Oregon Senate, which was presumably helped by her considerable fundraising capabilities.
4. Served As the Secretary of State of Oregon
Eventually, Brown gave up her seat in the Oregon Senate so that she could run for the position of the Secretary of State of Oregon in November of 2008. Since said position is the first in line of succession to the Governor of Oregon, it should come as no surprise to learn that it has some very important responsibilities. Primarily, the Secretary of State of Oregon oversees the elections, the auditing of public accounts, and the administration of public records.
5. Gave Good Value When It Came to Audits
Audits are as important for governments as they are for businesses. As such, it is worth mentioning that Brown gave good value when it came to the audits conducted under her as Secretary of State of Oregon. In 2008, the state got about $8 in cost savings as well as efficiencies for every dollar invested in the audits. However, in 2010, Brown revealed that the state got about $64 in cost savings as well as efficiencies for every dollar invested in the audits, which was well above the apparent average of $18 for every dollar invested in the audits.
6. Implemented Online Voter Registration
It is interesting to note that Brown was the one who implemented online voter registration in the state of Oregon. For some people, this might not seem like much. However, the fact of the matter is that increasing the convenience of voluntary processes can bring about a huge change in the number of people who choose to go through them, particularly when it is something that can be applied to as many people as voter registration. In just a single year, online voter registration was used by about 87,000 Oregonians.
7. Used iPads to Make Voting More Accessible
Speaking of which, Brown also used iPads to make voting more accessible for Oregonians with disabilities. For example, those with visual impairments could use the iPads to enlarge the ballot as well as have the ballot read out to them. Having said that, while there was an initial test-run using iPads, the plan was to purchase both Android and Windows tablets for use throughout the state. Something that was possible because the voting software was device-agnostic.
8. Became Governor Because of Her Predecessor’s Corruption Scandal
In 2015, Brown became the new Governor of Oregon because of her predecessor John Kitzhaber’s corruption scandal. Basically, the federal government was looking into whether Kitzhaber and his fiancee Cylvia Hayes had used their positions for personal gain, which was what prompted his decision to step down. Eventually, he paid $20,000 in civil penalties because of conflicts of interest involving Hayes, while Hayes paid $44,000 in fines because of her ethics violations. In any case, Brown was the Secretary of State of Oregon, meaning that she was the next in line when Kitzhaber resigned.
9. Won the Special Election in 2016
Oregonian law mandated a special gubernatorial election in 2016 for the remaining two years in Kitzhaber’s term. Since Brown is still the Governor of Oregon, it should come as no surprise to learn that she was the winner. However, it is interesting to note that her election campaign seemed to have enabled her to show her fundraising skills to excellent effect. After all, Brown had managed to raise more than $800,000 by April of 2016. For context, her closest competitor in the Democratic primary had raised just $33,000 by that point in time, which spoke volumes about Brown’s capability in this regard.
10. Oregonian Republicans Are Still Trying to Recall Her
Currently, Oregonian Republicans are making another attempt to recall Brown over her policies to bring the COVID-19 crisis under control. Amusingly, their efforts are being hampered by other people who are also trying to recall Brown for the same reason because they won’t work together. Something that has apparently caused a lot of confusion among interested individuals the last time that this was attempted. In any case, it should be mentioned that the Oregonian Republicans haven’t even gotten to the point of forcing a recall election. Never mind convincing voters to eject her from her current positions because of her not particularly unusual measures for combating COVID-19.