There are certain opportunities in life that you just can’t pass up. For example, if someone’s giving out free cake, you should totally take the free cake. That’s just common sense. And when someone gets in touch with you and asks if you’d like to meet the Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia, you ask, “Where and when?”
For me, meeting the Premier is not about politics. My own politics are always ambiguous at best, and I don’t really support any particular party. For me, meeting the Premier is about having the chance to share my concerns and questions with a decision-maker, regardless of what party that person belongs to. It’s also about being able to snap photos like these:
And most especially this one, of the Premier catching a whiff of that sweet baby smell courtesy of Josie, daughter of Andrea:
Pamela Martin, iconic-Vancouver-journalist-turned-director-of-outreach, reached out to Christine Pilkington, my boss at VancouverMom.ca about setting up a roundtable with Vancouver-area mom bloggers. Christine included me on the list. I knew the invitation was coming, and when I received it, I jumped on it. I talked my mom into picking my daughter Hannah up from school so that I could attend, and I made the trip into the big city.
For just over an hour, the moms in the room voiced their concerns to the Premier. She listened and took notes. A number of issues were raised, including housing affordability (Vancouver is expensive, yo), transportation, health care for new parents, and funding and access to services for kids with special needs. Overall, I think two main themes emerged:
- We need better programs to support moms who are advancing their education and / or starting a business. Grants, tax credits and the like could go a long way towards helping moms support their families and employ others – and at a fraction of the cost of most business development grants.
- We need quality, accessible, affordable childcare. Full stop.
Will anything come out of the conversation we had with the Premier? I don’t know. I do know that not many other political figures have reached out to the mom blogging community. In an of itself, that felt pretty cool. Most of the time I sit by myself in my family room, sending words out into the void. Having the ear of the Premier definitely upped the ante in terms of sharing my story. It also gave me a great chance to talk about government and citizenship with my kids. Whether we swayed Premier Clark to re-vamp BC’s childcare system or not, I know that my kids are watching me, and I want them to learn to say yes to opportunities that come their way, too.
If you had two minutes with the Premier (or Governor, President or Prime Minister), what issues would you raise? And what opportunities are just too good for you to pass up? I’d love to hear!