Every Sunday, we'll publish a quick Q&A with someone from the local political world. Instead of touching on the latest in policy issues and proposed legislation, the intent is to catch a glimpse of the person behind the title. The interviews are done via email.
Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant dances as results trickle in on election night in November. (Derek Gee/ Buffalo News)
Betty Jean Grant
Party: Democratic Party
Job Title: 2nd District Legislator and Chairwoman, Erie County Legislature
Family: Married to George E. Grant since 1970. Three daughters and four grandchildren.
Education: Bachelor of Science in elementary education; Master's degree in special education
What's one thing people don't know about you?
I was an introvert and was extremely shy and stuttered to the point of almost being vocally catatonic while growing up in the deep South.
You published a book of poetry, "Falling Through the Crack," in 2008. How did you get started writing?
I started writing poetry around the fourth grade -- honest to goodness true story. I got bored reading about Jack and Jill going up the hill to get that pail of water. I changed the story line and came up with a more provocative ending for old Jack there.
I started writing poetry for my book as far back as 1968 and continued writing for personal pleasure until a few individuals read some of them and convinced me to get them published.
What's your favorite restaurant?
My favorite restaurants are Mattie's and GiGi's, the two premier Soul Food restaurants in Buffalo.
Who is your political hero?
My political hero is Nelson Mandela, freedom fighter and former president of South Africa who was held in prison for over 28 years because of his political beliefs and for his fight to end Apartheid in South Africa.
What's the worst part of your job?
Truly the worst part of my job, up to now, was having to let individuals go in this year's reorganization process of the Erie County Legislature. I realize that every administration, in both the public and private sectors, has always had to downsize or change the employee structure in one way or another. While it was necessary for me as chairperson of the Legislature to let a few employees go for various reasons, I did not enjoy the realization that what was done, even though it was not done in a mean-spirited manner, nevertheless negatively impacted workers and their immediate families.
taggedBetty Jean Grant | Erie County | Erie County Legislature | Five Questions