Bold Vision: ERA 2020
On the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote, another 100-year struggle to gain constitutional equality through ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment for women is one state away from passage. Modern-day suffragists around the country have united to make equal legal in 2020. We’ll explore efforts both here in Minnesota and around the U.S., finally, to amend an ERA into our state and federal constitutions.
The honorable Betty Folliard is a well-known Minnesota thought leader and founder of ERA Minnesota, an organization dedicated to passing the Equal Rights Amendment statewide and nationally. Ms. Folliard worked in government at the local, state, and national levels: first as a School Board vice chair; serving 3 terms (6 years) as legislator in the Minnesota House of Representatives; and for several years, as a U.S. House of Representatives Congressional Aide in the Office of Congressman Keith Ellison.
As state representative in the Minnesota House of Representatives for the communities of Hopkins, Minnesota, and St. Louis Park, she served six years on the Minnesota Commission on the Economic Status of Women; was chair of the Teacher Preparation Subcommittee; became pro-choice lead on the House Health and Human Services Committee; and served nationally as vice chair of NCEL – the National Commission of Environmental Legislators.
Betty Folliard earned a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University and Master of Fine Arts from Wayne State University and began her career as a Theatre Specialist. She became co-owner of Strategy Partners, a business and political consulting firm. She also created a feminist talk show called A Woman’s Place. Ms. Folliard was first board chair of Gender Justice – a non-profit law firm in St. Paul and served as board chair of PRISM – People Responding in Social Ministry, a social services agency.
In 2014 Betty founded ERA Minnesota, revitalizing the ERA movement in Minnesota. Consequently, she earned the highly coveted Minnesota Women’s Press Change Maker Award. In 2017, she received the Minnesota Women’s Summit Committee’s Woman of Distinction Award. In 2018 Betty was appointed a National Presbyterian Delegate to the United Nations 62nd Commission on the Status of Women. This year she helped pass the state ERA bill through the Minnesota House. Most recently, she is helping organize a Women’s Economic Security Task Force on behalf of the new Minnesota State Attorney General.