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Pasadena Letter Writer Gets Award for Being 'Agitator'

July 28, 1994|MARTHA L. WILLMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

An 84-year-old Pasadena woman who has wielded her antique manual typewriter on behalf of various crusades for almost 30 years has been honored for her activism by the national citizens lobby, Common Cause.

Clara Link is one of five activists from throughout the nation recently presented a Service Achievement Award as "an indefatigable agitator for good government." Selected from more than 75 nominees this year, Link is the seventh Californian to be honored since the annual program began in 1981.

Link helped start the California chapter of Common Cause in 1970 and has been active in Planned Parenthood, the League of Women Voters, California Republican League and other groups.

Common Cause officials cited Link for repeatedly making her voice heard and holding government accountable for its actions. Her most vociferous medium has been letters to the editors of various publications, along with reams of letters to local, state and federal representatives.

"Clara's secret weapon is her typewriter," said Suzanne Greenfield, a Common Cause lobbyist who supervised selection of winners this year. "She personifies what citizens can and should do to make a difference."

Since 1965, Link has steadily pounded out her opinions on everything from the Equal Rights Amendment to campaign reform, educational opportunities, the environment and abortion. Link, who describes herself as "enthusiastic and noisy," said she is inspired whenever she sees "some unfair, hostile action" or reads about "outrageous accusations."

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