Mary Pat Clarke (born June 22, 1941) is an American politician who represents the district 14 in the Baltimore City Council. She served in Baltimore, Maryland politics as both council president and council member for 24 out of the last 35 years as of 2010. She is the first woman ever elected president of the Baltimore City Council and the only non-incumbent to win a council seat since single-member districts were mandated by Baltimore voters through Question P in 2002.
Early life and education
Clarke was born in Providence, Rhode Island on June 22, 1941. She attended Immaculata College where she received an A.B. in 1963 and the a M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1966.
Clarke, by profession, is a teacher. She has instructed students at the Johns Hopkins University School of Professional Studies, the Maryland Institute College of Art and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Clarke was a founding board member of the Greater Homewood Community Corporation and later president and executive director.
In the council
Currently, as a member of the Baltimore City Council, Clarke is the Chair of the Education Committee, vice-Chair of the Judiciary and Legislative Investigation Committee, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Land Use and Transportation Committee (highways & franchises subcommittee). While running for office, Clarke pushed for integrated slates. She and her New Democratic Club forged alliances with Baltimore's black democratic clubs in the 1970s resulting in the election of several African Americans to the City Council, as well as her own. In the council, she forged alliances with her black colleagues, such as the one with Kweisi Mfume resulting in a Baltimore City mandate for smaller class sizes in the 1980s.