Mary Pat Clarke

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Mary Pat Clarke
Mary Pat Clarke (2007).jpg
Member of the Baltimore City Council from the 14th District
Assumed office
January 2003
Preceded by Lisa Stancil
46th President of the Baltimore City Council
In office
Preceded by Clarence "Du" Burns
Succeeded by Lawrence Bell
Member of the Baltimore City Council from the 2nd District
In office
Personal details
Born (1941-06-22) June 22, 1941 (age 73)
Providence, Rhode Island
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Joe Clarke
Profession teacher

Mary Pat Clarke (born June 22, 1941) is an American politician who represents the district 14 in the Baltimore City Council. She is arguably the most recognized person in Baltimore, Maryland politics having served as either council president or council member for 24 out of the last 35 years as of 2010.[1] 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.[2]


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.[3] Clarke was a founding board member of the Greater Homewood Community Corporation and later president and executive director[4]

"Mary Pat," 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.[5] Mary Pat and Joe Clarke are the parents of four adult children, all graduates of the Baltimore City Public School system, and six grandchildren. Her husband Joe, also a teacher, is a developer as well. While out of public office, Clarke served the Mount Saint Agnes Theological Center from 1997 to 1998 by overseeing public relations and working to develop a stable financial base and an expanded curriculum for future students.

In the Council[edit]

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).[6] Remembered for such daring efforts as spending the night once in a now demolished public housing project to bring attention to deplorable living conditions for poor people in the city, Clarke has enjoyed support from blacks and whites in all of her races. It was Clarke who set the standard, in Baltimore politics, for integrated slates while running for office. 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.

2007 election[edit]

Clarke faced two low-profile challengers in her 2007 re-election bid: one democrat, Tom Conradt, a University of Baltimore Law School graduate and burgeoning Baltimore political figure, in the primary election and one Republican in the general election. Neither candidate posed much of a threat to Clarke's re-election.


  1. ^ Baltimore Campaign Beat
  2. ^ Baltimore City Council: 14th District
  3. ^ Boyd Ray, editor, Nancy (1990). Margaret Roberts, ed. The City of Baltimore Municipal Handbook 1990. Baltimore: Mayor and City Council of Baltimore. 
  4. ^ "Mary Pat Clarke". Maryland State Archives. Retrieved June 22, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Hey 14". Baltimore City Paper. Retrieved August 29, 2007. [dead link]
  6. ^ [1]