Councilor: Position 4

Cate Arnold

Cate Arnold joined the City Council on January 3, 2005. She is enthusiastic about the opportunity to bring her skills to the job during these challenging times. She knows how to study a difficult problem, break it down into manageable, communicable pieces, and then work to effect a change.

Cate's Message

1958-1981: Cathy
I grew up mostly in Houston Texas during the Space Race. Everyone called me Cathy. Over the years, my dad worked on the Apollo, Viking, and Shuttle programs. We were part of the NASA community that landed the first astronauts on the moon. I grew up reading Science Fiction, expecting that my generation’s most valuable contributions would be to perfect humanoid robots and to figure out sustainable ecosystems not only for life here but to someday take to other planets. I interned at NASA during college. Watching the first Shuttle flight after working on that program was one of my proudest moments. Seeing all the people it took to build a successful space program taught me the power of a focused community.

1982-2012: Catherine
I started my career using the name Catherine, which symbolized being an adult. My husband and I had out first son in 1989. Three years later, we had a daughter. In 1995, we adopted our youngest son from South Korea. We named him after my dad and kept his birth name as well. James Joseph Byunghoon Arnold couldn’t spell his entire name until 3rd grade.

1992 – 2004: Stay-at-home mom. A more accurate description would have been a stay-in-the-minivan-and-public-buildings mom. I volunteered in schools, church, local government, nonprofits – over 30 different organizations. Some of my favorites were Girl Scout troop leader and Camp Director, Art Literacy teacher, officer for the Beaverton Committee for Community Involvement (BCCI), Small Claims Court mediator, and Leadership Beaverton Class Project Coordinator – we built the first Habitat for Humanity home in Beaverton, another of my proudest moments.

In 1995, I started volunteering with various local government organizations. During the next 10 years, I learned what our local governments really do and realized that having active community members involved in them makes all the difference for good governance.

2005: Elected to the Beaverton City Council. Serving on the Council is interesting, difficult, and rewarding. What I enjoy most is working with our boards and commissions and talking with people about city matters. What is hardest for me are “personality politics” where the discussion focuses on people’s intentions and actions rather than on the decisions we need to make to take care of our community. In our city, most of our tax dollars are spent on things like police, water, sewer and roads. The City Council’s role it to set city policies, making high level decisions on how land is developed, what programs to fund, and other goals that influence our future, often framed by our city’s Community Vision Action Plan.

2009: Diagnosed with breast cancer. Facing this serious illness and the possibility of dying changed my world view.

2013–present: Cate
In my 4th year as a breast cancer survivor, I realized I was in a new phase of life. I now go by Cate as a reminder. This is the letting go side of life when our bodies start to fail, when parents and colleagues pass away, when we start thinking about what we’re leaving behind. My primary goal as a City Councilor is to support programs that increase our city’s health and vitality. I am now working on becoming a wise old woman (WOW). I ask myself constantly, what good can come from this moment? What should I focus on for the wellbeing of our community? What am I leaving for my kids and their children? As we look to the future, I will continue to advocate for a community that is welcoming to all, that is a good place to do business, that focuses on sustainability and resiliency. I am honored to serve Beaverton and to champion our Community Vision for a city where people of all ages work, live and play and proudly call home.

Areas of Focus

  • Continuing to encourage the exchange of ideas between government and its citizens - Democracy takes many eyes to work.
  • Good transportation systems, because they are the arteries for the lifeblood of our economy - We must be able to move goods and people in a timely manner.
  • Strengthening the economic vitality of our City - She will continue to work with the Chamber of Commerce, the Westside Economic Alliance, and other partners to make our city an awesome place to live and work.

City of Beaverton Boards & Commissions

Current Activities

  • Beaverton Chamber of Commerce—Government Affairs Council
  • Beaverton Chamber of Commerce—Leadership Beaverton Board
  • Multnomah County Small Claims Court—Mediator
  • Mountainview Middle School Art Literacy—Teacher and Coordinator
  • Columbia River Girl Scouts (CRGS)—Cadet Troop 1312 leader
  • CRGS Aloha Mountaindale Troopers—Day Camp Director
  • Beaverton Loaves and Fishes—Meals on Wheels driver
  • Mission of the Atonement—Song leader, Choir, Social Justice Committee
  • Prior Governmental Experience
  • Beaverton Committee For Citizen Involvement (10 years)
  • Beaverton Dispute Resolution Center (mediator for 4 years)
  • Beaverton Social Service Funding Committee (2 years)
  • Metro Technical Advisory Committee (2 years)


  • Masters of Science in Finance, summa cum laude, Texas A & M 1982
  • Bachelors of Science in Economics, magna cum laude, Texas A & M 1980


  • Family—husband, Randy, children—Michael, Mary, and Jimmy
  • Resident of Beaverton since 1992, Washington County since 1985