The beloved children's author Beverly Cleary contributed $10,000 to the Libraries Yes! Committee over the weekend. That group helped renew the levy that mostly funds the Multnomah County Library in last Tuesday's primary election. Voters approved the measure, which continues—but does not increase—the existing property tax levy.
Cleary's contribution will certainly help the group's future push for a permanent tax base. Multnomah County commissioners are likely to approve placing a permanent library taxing district on the November ballot, County Chairman Jeff Cogen told WW, based partly on the overwhelming 84 percent to 16 percent margin in the May 15 primary.
Cleary, who turned 96 last month, grew up in Yamhill County but now lives in Carmel, Calif. Her Ramona Quimby novels left a big mark on this city—a sculpture garden in Grant Park features some of the characters from those books, and the nearby Northeast Portland elementary school formerly known as Hollyrood was renamed for Cleary in 2008.
Libraries Yes! has spent $436,000 this year, according to state filings, and has $60,000 on hand.