What a Girl Asks a Mayor

I’m a co-leader of a Junior Girl Scout Troop (3rd and 4th graders).  March is National Women’s History Month, so I sent an email to our town’s mayor, Elizabeth Tisdahl, asking if she might speak to our girls about being a living part of their hometown’s history.

Her email response today was:  “I’d love to come.”

I was stunned, and awed, and humbled, and celebrified (that’s my own word).  Really?  You’ll come speak in our small, elementary school gym to 21 girls who love to talk and move and snack and roll around?


So, as today’s bimonthly Girl Scout meeting began (the theme was FROSTY FUN; we squirted food-coloring-tinted water from spray bottles onto the snow, discussed hypothermia and drank hot cocoa), I told the girls we’d be having a very special guest at our next meeting.  Their guesses?

“Barack Obama?”


“Harriet Tubman?”

Uh, no.  She’s unfortunately not alive.

“Oh.  Who?”

The Mayor of Evanston.


I said, “Girls, I know how you feel!  She actually said YES!”

So, we polled the girls on what kinds of questions they’d like to ask the Mayor. Here, in all their glory, are the unedited queries of 3rd and 4th graders about being a Mayor:

Dear Mayor Tisdahl,

1. What’s your plan for Evanston?

2. What’s your favorite jewelry?

3. What’s your favorite book?

4. What’s your favorite movie?

5. Why did you want to run for Mayor?

6. What’s your favorite shape?

7. If you could change one law in Evanston, what would it be?

8. Do you like animals?  If yes, what are your favorites?

9. What are the responsibilities of being Evanston’s Mayor?

10. What are the advantages of being Evanston’s Mayor?

11. Do you have any brothers and sisters?

12. Do you have kids?

13. Do you have a husband?

14. Is it weird going into the grocery store?  Do people treat you different?

15. What’s your favorite letter of the alphabet?

16. What’s your favorite word to say:  yes or no?

17. What’s it like to be Mayor?

18. What are the good/bad sides of being Mayor?

19. What’s your favorite color?

20. How old are you?

21. When’s your birthday?

22. Have you met any famous people?

23. How much do you like being Mayor?

24. What’s your favorite food?

25. Where do you live?

26. Do you feel special being Mayor?

27. Do you like to watch sports?

28. Do you like popcorn?

Every question was delivered with a straight face and thoughtful consideration.  Not a single girl criticized another girl’s question.  Let’s remember that as we write our books for young readers.  Respect her curiosity.  Her range of interest. Her fearless ideas of what’s important.

I’m confident I’m not the only one who gets goosebumps over how innocent and genuine their questions are.  I cannot wait to hear the Mayor’s responses to these queries.  I look forward to sharing them here with you after our March 4, 2010 meeting.


11 responses to “What a Girl Asks a Mayor

  1. I’m betting her favorite letter is “M.” Let me know if I’m right. (Love the questions!)

  2. That is awesome. I’m equally interested in her answers to all of those questions!

    I like “celebrified” – in our house, we use “exciteapated.” 🙂

  3. I especially like Question 14 about going to the grocery store. So funny!
    And I have to also add that your blog is fantastic. Your voice is shining through!

  4. I just read this with my morning coffee before getting down to write. Those girls’ questions put a big smile on my face. So precious! Great blog, too, Christine. Keep it coming!


  5. I can’t believe I’m going to have to miss this!! we might need to video it…

  6. My favorite is #14. We have a female mayor too, and I HAVE seen her in the grocery store — she gets stopped every couple aisles by a citizen bending her ear. Very perceptive question.

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