Council Day 8: Words to live by

My parents bought me an early Christmas present (or a late congratulatory election gift): Missisauga mayor Hazal McCallion’s autobiography, Hurricane Hazel. McCallion served as mayor from 1978 to this year, a total of 36 years. She is 93 years old.

It’s inspiring to read her reflections on her long political career as I start mine.

In an interview on CBC’s The Current, she was quoted as saying for women to succeed in politics they must, “Act like a lady… think like a man (which I’ve never figured out) and work like a dog.” In her book, she offers one more piece of advice: Always do your homework.

Those last words of wisdom keep popping into my head, especially today as I anticipate my first council meeting agenda package tomorrow (which I’ve been told can take all weekend to read), with big work deadlines on Friday and Monday, and three littles who are full of Christmas cheer (read: they can barely focus on dressing themselves unaided in the morning).

Regardless of the madness, I must do my homework; that is, I need to understand the agenda items, or suffer the consequences of not being prepared (see earlier post re: idiocy).

Here is Hurricane Hazel’s opening statement at her final council meeting. What a woman.


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