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File #: 190031    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 1/24/2019 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 1/24/2019
Title: Honoring the life and legacy of Karen S. Coates, Esq.
Sponsors: Councilmember Parker, Council President Clarke, Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember O'Neill, Councilmember Taubenberger
Attachments: 1. SignatureCopy19003100
Honoring the life and legacy of Karen S. Coates, Esq.
WHEREAS, Karen S. Coates, Esq., was born in Philadelphia to Carmella Breen and the late Richard J. Smith; and
WHEREAS, Karen was a native of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, where she was the Salutatorian of Bloomsburg High School in 1981; and
WHEREAS, Karen attended Bloomsburg University, where she was a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, and graduated cum laude in 1985. She went on to graduate cum laude from Dickinson School of Law in 1988; and
WHEREAS, Following law school, Coates spent about 20 years in private practice in Harrisburg as a litigator before joining Pennsylvania House of Representatives staff as Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee in 2007; and
WHEREAS, Karen joined Allegheny County Representative Mike Turzai's staff when he became House Majority Leader in 2011 and stayed with him when he became Speaker of the House in 2015; and
WHEREAS, Karen made history when she became the first female Chief of Staff and Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Speaker of the House of Representatives; and
WHEREAS, Karen was a leader in a generation of women that broke significant glass ceilings at the Pennsylvania State Capitol as top staffers; and
WHEREAS, While acknowledging that being the first female Chief of Staff and Chief Counsel to the House Speaker was a momentous accomplishment, Karen let her work speak for itself; and
WHEREAS, Karen was a principled and strategic attorney who used her intellect and savvy to help shape each and every policy that came out of Harrisburg in recent years; and
WHEREAS, Speaker Turzai released a statement saying, "An attorney by training, Karen was intelligent, quick, strategic, savvy, straightforward and principled. She was also kind and respectful to all, humble and fun with a warm laugh. She was a role model and mentor to many on the House staff, as well as others. She was a natural leader and wise counselor. She personally resolved many legislative issues, he...

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