After Austin Elects First Female-Majority City Council, Consultants Brought in to Talk Down to Them
Austin has the first female-majority city council in its history, with seven women and four men. In March, the new council were greeted by a patronizing lecture from a pair of speakers who held a training session on what they can expect from a female-dominated council.
The first speaker was Jonathan K. Allen, who once served as a city manager of Lauderdale Lakes, Florida. Allen warned that women ask a lot of questions and that female city council members are less likely to read agenda information and will ask questions instead. He cited his 11-year-old daughter as an example. He also said that people have to present arguments in a “totally different way” because female council members don't like dealing with financial analysis and other numbers-oriented presentations.
The second speaker was Miya Burt-Stewart, who runs a business development and marketing firm. She instructed the attendees that “men have egos, women have wish lists,” and that men typically communicate less than women do.
The Star-Tribune's Lilly Rockwell contacted the city and found out that it actually paid for the hotel fees for Allen, which raises the question of why Austin found it prudent to hold a sexist training session for staff on taxpayers' dimes.
Watch video from the training: