Serving as Mayor keeps me busy. That's no secret. Last week I shared access to my online calendar with our Parks staff members so they can see when I'm available and when I'm booked and one of them came to me within five minutes and said, "I had to turn your calendar off my view...it's exhausting."
I knew what I was signing up for though...and I love it!
In addition to my determination to run city services efficiently and effectively I also seek opportunities to engage with our community outside of City Hall. In honor of women's history month I was fortunate to get to read one of my new favorite children's books with local preschool and elementary students. A Vote for Susanna: The First Woman Mayor, eloquently written by Karen Greenwald and beautifully illustrated by Sian James, tells the story of Susanna Salter, who was placed on the ballot as a joke designed to end women's involvement in politics. (Spoiler Alert: It didn't work.) It's a great story about overcoming bullying and the importance of fair representation in elected offices. I highly recommend the book for all ages, but especially for young readers.
I wish I could say that over 100 years later I no longer face the gender related challenges that Susanna suffered, but I'd be lying. During her research for the book, Karen Greenwald learned that Susanna was judged for her looks, her motherhood, her role as a wife - all of the things women office holders today are measured by - and that people were genuinely surprised that she performed her work as mayor well. I experience these things regularly. And I'm not alone.
Despite a majority of Americans reporting that they see women as capable leaders, our numbers still lag behind men with women of color even more significantly underrepresented in leadership roles (link for more info HERE.)
Here's where my commitment to being involved at a personal level in our community kicks in. I recently discovered and read Eliza VanCort's A Woman's Guide to Claiming Space: Stand Tall. Raise Your Voice. Be Heard. and I think it's worth a read for all women. The book is available in the Kindle version for only $1.99 this month (click the link on the title to get it from Amazon) so I decided to invite local women to share the book with me in an informal book club.
We're meeting to discuss the first three chapters on Saturday, March 26th at my office, 904 Main Street, from 9-11 am. I'll have a light breakfast available for attendees. Please grab your copy of the book and join us. Don't worry if you don't have the first three chapters read by then. This will be a great chance to meet women of all ages and professions and connect. I have an event on Facebook to track attendance so I'll know how much food to order - link here: Women's Book Club March 26th. If you're not on Facebook, please shoot me an email at Treva@MayorTreva.com and let me know you're coming. I can't wait to see you!