Born in 1943, Marilyn Tate Koenitzer was raised in a military family in Germany. The beautiful farmland there sparked a passion for environmental and land use issues, while reading the Feminine Mystique in her 20s inspired her passion for women’s rights. She and her husband owned their own business. Her involvement with the league started in 1970, where she joined in Dayton, Ohio; when her family moved to Corvallis, Oregon in 1973, she continued work with the league.
Koenitzer worked with the Citizens for Clean Air in Dayton, Ohio, where the group lobbied the legislature on pollution issues. As she recalls, “we showed the pictures in the Daytona area and testified to legislature and those guys were not interested at all they were just sleeping in their chairs.” Koenitzer is also interested in increasing women’s involvement in politics. “It is still a good ol’ boy’s network in a lot of ways, and I’d like to see that change.” She also believes that access to childcare is crucial to enabling women to participate more fully in politics.
Koenitzer’s major work with the League has involved environmental issues. She ensures that the local Evanite fiberglass plant is held accountable for cleaning up their spills and is following other important environmental policies. She encourages others to get educated and to join the league. “I would like to see more women join the league, more men, everybody needs to join the league because we are getting all grey haired and not enough kids are finding this relevant.”