Erin Maye Quade is known as someone who will run head-first into a challenge. She is a proven leader with extensive experience in the private, non-profit, and public sectors who believes in evidence based-solutions and in our collective ability to come together and solve problems.
Currently, Erin serves as a Minnesota State Senator and as a Special Projects Advisor at Gender Justice. During her run for Senate, Erin went into labor while giving a speech at the DFL caucus in April, sparking a national conversation on misogyny in politics. When she was elected in November 2022, she became one of the first three Black women to be elected to the Minnesota Senate. She is also the first out lesbian in the Minnesota Senate and the first Black mom in the State Senate. She was also the first LGBTQ person—and among the youngest—to be endorsed as the DFL candidate for Lt. Governor when she joined Erin Murphy’s ticket in 2018.
In just one term as a State Senator, Erin has successfully led initiatives to expand reproductive freedom, protect LGBTQ+ rights, safeguard election integrity, and promote literacy. In particular, Erin’s leadership on reproductive freedom inside and outside of the legislature has been critical to making Minnesota a national leader for abortion access. Erin built UnRestrict Minnesota, the biggest reproductive freedom coalition in the state, into a powerful force in state politics. Thanks to her leadership, the coalition won a court victory overturning most of Minnesota’s abortion restrictions, elected the state’s first-ever pro-reproductive freedom legislative majority, and passed historic legislation expanding and strengthening reproductive freedom throughout our state.
As a State Representative from 2017-2019, Erin wrote bills to increase funding for public schools and special education and quickly established herself as a candid and fierce advocate for Minnesotans championing paid family leave; expanding access to affordable child care; ending childhood hunger; eliminating gun violence; and investing in treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues. As a Democrat, she is proud to have successfully passed bills through a Republican controlled House.
Erin previously served as Advocacy Director for Gender Justice, working to advance gender equity through public education, legislative outreach, strategic partnerships and coalition-building. Through her work with Gender Justice and UnRestrict Minnesota, she led the largest reproductive health, rights, and justice coalition in the state of Minnesota from 2019 to 2022. In this role, she laid the groundwork for a statewide movement that successfully expanded access to abortion care in Minnesota in the year after Roe was overturned.
In 2018, Rep. Maye Quade founded the Childhood Hunger Caucus, a coalition of businesses, nonprofits and policymakers dedicated to ending childhood hunger in Minnesota.
Erin doesn’t back down from tough fights, even when others tell her to stand back. After legislation to prevent gun violence was blocked, Erin held a 24-hour sit-in on the House floor to protest inaction on the issue and shared stories of victims and survivors of gun violence.