Cathy Standiford is a writer and volunteer with a passion for amplifying the voices of women and girls. She writes fiction, “activist poetry,” personal essays and the occasional song. Cathy is currently working on a historical novel inspired by her grandmother-in-law, a refugee from Turkey who survived the Armenian genocide.
Cathy has been writing since she received a journal for her fourteenth birthday. A former city manager and local government consultant, her professional writing experience was primarily technical–city council staff reports, analytical studies, policy analyses and public presentations. As a consultant she authored dozens of reports on such topics as process improvement, operational efficiency and fiscal sustainability. Cathy considers her “legacy project” to be her work supporting a Citizens Charter Committee for the City of San Bernardino. In 2016 she drafted a new, simplified charter that not only embodied the principles of modern municipal governance, but also enabled the City to emerge from bankruptcy.
Since 2018 Cathy has been a volunteer mentor for WriteGirl, a creative writing and mentoring organization that promotes creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills to empower teen girls and gender-expansive youth. Cathy’s volunteerism has taken her around the world from Australia to Africa, and she has attended the Commission on the Status of Women meetings at the United Nations four times as part of a delegation for Soroptimist International (SI), a global volunteer movement to transform the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities.
The Activist Poet Blog features Cathy’s thoughts on writing, reading, current events and general observations on life. However, it is not her first blog. From July 2009 to September 2010 “The President’s Blog” described Cathy’s experiences as the President of Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA). It became so popular, SIA asked her to continue keeping a blog related to issues affecting women and girls. Hosted by LiveYourDream.org from 2010 to 2014, Cathy’s “Focus on Women” blog drew attention to issues such as gender inequality, pay discrimination, human trafficking, violence and poverty. Cathy’s personal essay, “Why I Stayed Silent,” was published on the site in April 2018.
Cathy has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Whittier College and a Master’s in Business and Public Administration from the University of California, Irvine. She has been a International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Credentialed Manager since 2004.