Advisory Task Force on Expanding the Economic Security of Women

“Affording your life is hard enough. It’s especially tough for women in an economy that’s stacked against them,” Attorney General Ellison said. “Women are still paid less than men for the same work, still pay more than men for similar goods and services, and still bear the burden of school and childcare far more than men. Among all women, inequalities for women of color are greatest. The COVID-19 pandemic has made those inequalities even worse. 

“Women’s economic insecurity isn’t just an economic wrong — it’s a moral wrong that hurts all of us. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Minnesota has led the way on economic equality and opportunity before: with this task force, I want us to lead again,” Attorney General Ellison concluded. 

Section I: Task Force Members

Task Force Co-Chairs

Co-Chairs Donna Cassutt and Erin Maye Quade

Core Task Force Members:

  1. Dr. Christina Ewig, Professor of Public Affairs and Equity Director at the Center on Women, Gender, and Public Policy, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
  2. Dr. Brittany Lewis, Senior Research Associate, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA)
  3. Batala McFarlane, Publisher, Insight News
  4. Lulete Mola, Vice President of Community Impact, Women's Foundation of Minnesota
  5. Kate Perushek, Assistant Commissioner for the Construction Codes and Licensing Division and Government Relations and Workforce Development Programs, Minnesota Department of Labor, and Industry
  6. Erin Maye Quade, Advocacy Director, Gender Justice
  7. Senator David Senjem (R) - Senate District 25
  8. Connie Smallman, co-founder, and co-chair, Operating Engineer Local 49 Women's Group
  9. Sayda Tarannum, co-founder of the NorthWest Islamic Community Center
  10. Alene Tchourumoff, Senior Vice President of Community Development and Engagement, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
  11. Representative Samantha Vang (D), House District 40B
  12. Nancy Jost Director of Early Childhood at West Central Initiative in Fergus Falls
  13. Cheniqua Johnson Relationship Manager at Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
  14. Barbara Battiste is the former Director of the Minnesota Legislative Office on the Economic Status of Women
  15. Betty Folliard Founder of ERA Minnesota

Ex Officio Members of the Task Force:

  1. Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan
  2. Commissioner Rebecca Lucero
  3. Donna Cassutt, Chief of Staff, Minnesota Attorney General's Office
  4. Solicitor General Liz Kramer
  5. Melissa Raphan, Partner, Labor & Employment Group LLP

Section II: Meetings and Events


1. February 4, 2021 - 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

2. March 1, 2021 - 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

3. April 12, 2021 - 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

4. May 6, 2021 - 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

5. June 14, 2021 - 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

6. July 14, 2021 - 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

7. September 28, 2021 - 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

8. October 20, 2021- 5:00-7:00 p.m.

9. November 3, 2021- 5:00-7:00 p.m.

10. November 16, 2021- 5:00-7:00 p.m.

11. November 30, 2021- 5:00-7:00 p.m.

13. December 14, 2021- 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Section III: Resources


Task Force Materials


January 26, 2021
Attorney General Ellison selects advocates, researchers, legislators to serve on Women’s Economic Security Task Force

Names Lt. Gov. Flanagan and others as ad hoc members

November 19, 2020
Attorney General Ellison forms Task Force on Expanding Economic Security of Women

Solicits applications through Open Appointments process by early January

Section IV: Participate

Community input is an important part of this Task Force, we encourage members of the public interested in this work to sign up for updates and stay engaged with this work.

If you would like to participate, please email Sadaf Rahmani, at