Alumna Cathy Clark ’78 is no stranger to volunteerism. As mayor of Keizer, Oregon, Clark is in charge of monitoring municipal operations and setting policies for her city, which is known for its annual Iris Festival and expansive outdoors. She also is known for volunteering her own time to address problems facing her community.
When Clark moved to Keizer, she noticed backyard yard debris burnings and a lack of sidewalks were issues for the city. She volunteered to work on fixing those problems herself, and in 2007 was elected to Keizer’s all-volunteer city council. She was elected mayor in January 2015 and stands today as a citizen voice, dedicated to ensuring the city is solving important issues.
In Clark’s mind, Keizer and Davis are very similar. Both cities are part of majoragricultural regions, and both are filled with citizens who care about the greater good.
“In the future, I hope to create more opportunities for myself and other Aggies to come together and mingle,” she said.
Originally from Los Angeles, Clark chose UC Davis to experience a less urban lifestyle. Being away from the city was humbling for her, and her more rural environment provided an entirely new perspective.
“The UC Davis campus gave me the chance to explore new experiences like tractor driving class, being in the barns when lambs and goats were born, the wonderful free feeling of riding my bicycle everywhere, and practical ways of living out our shared values of what we now call sustainability,” Clark said, a CAAA Life member since 1986.
One of Clark’s main goals as mayor is to encourage more people to volunteer in their community. She recently took part in the “Keizer Big Toy Community Build” where friends and families helped build a brand new playground for the city. The process began with kids drawing out their dream playgrounds, and continued with volunteers putting on hard hats to construct it. She even teamed up with UC Davis alumni in the Oregon area to work together to complete the project.
“Our Big Toy Community Build Playground is a great illustration of why community is important,” said Clark who added that she hope to create more opportunities for myself and other Aggies to come together and mingle, “We bring our wealth of ideas together to create a vision for the future that benefits us all. And then we work together to make it a reality.”