Emily Anne Staples Tuttle started her public life as a Junior League volunteer. Today she credits the leadership training she received there for much of the success that followed in public service and women’s leadership advocacy.
As a Junior League of Minneapolis member, Emily Anne took on many roles, including routine assignments like children’s theater, transfers, bylaws, and chair of Provisionals, eventually rising to President. It was during her years as an Active member, however, that she began exploring women’s rights and became an advocate for others. Initially, that included an appointment as Regional Director to AJLI’s Region VII, where she visited all 17 Leagues in the region. But she also participated in AJLI’s National Training Laboratory, where League members and community members took part in a series of trainings to raise community awareness and involvement.
From there it was a short jump into public service. Elected as the first female DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) State senator in 1977 she later continued in public service as a Hennepin County Commissioner and advisor to then-Governor Jesse Ventura.
Her long-time support of women’s leadership pre-dated her political career and continued after it. As an advocate of women taking leadership roles to make a difference in their communities, she was also instrumental in organizing the first Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus, the first Women’s Institute for Social Change, the first Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable and the United Nations Association of Minnesota.
Emily Anne is quick to credit Junior League of Minneapolis with helping her develop her leadership skills. “Without having been in the League, I would never have been able to go into politics. Junior League helped me learn how to conduct meetings, organize my time, write agendas, and be more productive.”
Emily Anne was a force for good. She will be missed.
Here is video on Emily Anne’s work and contributions.