How was your second day at the AMM Annual Convention? If you are newly elected, your brain is probably feeling a little overloaded right now. Then again it’s past cocktail hour so perhaps your brain is feeling just right. In any case, it was a full day. Here’s a quick recap:
We began the day with the Opening Ceremonies. Who doesn’t like to start the
day with bagpipes? Definitely gets the toes tapping and the blood flowing. After the piping in of the AMM Board of Directors (led by Past-President Ron Bell), we got down to business. Greetings from Mayor Sam Katz, Minister of Local Government Ron Lemieux, and Manitoba Municipal Administrators Association President Brent McMillan were followed by a “state of the AMM” speech by President Dobrowolski. (Who was later acclaimed to serve another year as your president, by the way – Congratulations, Doug!)
Our Local Government Minister then took the stage again for his annual address, but with a twist – he shared his time with a special guest, Carlos Moreno, the Under Secretary of Local Government for Hidalgo, Mexico. The Manitoba government shares a strong trading partnership with Mexico and it was interesting to hear from Senor Moreno.
Also very interesting and inspiring was Dr. Samantha Nutt, our keynote speaker. Dr. Nutt is founder and Executive Director of War Child Canada and has received too many accolades for her work to mention. Suffice it to say she somehow very skillfully and articulatly managed to draw a parallel between her work in war-torn countries with that of municipal politicians. How? By explaining we can ALL do better, we can all BE better – if only we have the courage to try. Her recipe for success includes the following guidelines:
1) The grander the vision, the longer the timelines.
2) What is your why (or, you need to know what DRIVES you!)
3) Action depends on ownership.
4) If no one is listening, don’t shout – change your message.
5) If it’s hard, it’s because what you are doing is important.
Dr. Nutt drew a well-deserved standing ovation for her work today.
The afternoon was taken up by workshops, resolutions (we got through 16 out of 43 – not bad!) and the President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Hans Cunningham.
After adjournment, the AMM hosted a special networking session for women in government. Almost 60 women and men (but mostly women) participated in what became a sort of “open-mike” opportunity. A number of the newly elected and veteran woman municipal officials shared their experiences, as did MLA Leanne Rowat. Minister of Local Government Ron Lemieux even dropped by and had words of encouragement for those in attendance. The session was chaired skillfully by Vice-President Shirley Kalyniuk, who, as an elected official since 1983, has seen times change since her first election – although not nearly enough. It was great to see a room full of people – women and men – encouraging and supporting each other. It was, in other words, a great way to cap off day two.
Check back tomorrow for another update!