talent

Meet your host, Betsy Sweet.

Betsy is a life-long human rights activist, political organizer, small business owner and mother.

As Betsy was growing up, her granddad lobstered, her mom taught middle school math, and her Dad worked in foodservice. Betsy’s mother, Dottie, and father, Dick, instilled in her a can-do attitude early in life. On a road trip, the family car broke down, and Betsy’s mother, who knew nothing about cars, popped the hood open to take a look. She told a skeptical Betsy, “it’s a logical system; we can figure it out.” Dottie got that car working again, and they continued on their trip.

Betsy has carried that sense of determination with her throughout her adult life. As an advocate for underserved Mainers for almost 40 years, Betsy has been on our side fighting to protect working-class values in Maine’s state budget for 37 years. She got her start organizing for the Equal Rights Amendment to ensure everyone is on a level playing field, and she learned early on that her life’s passion is doing everything she could to make this world a better place. Betsy went on to serve as program coordinator for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Executive Director of the Maine Women’s Lobby (where she successfully advocated to raise the minimum wage), Commissioner for Women under Governors Brennan and McKernan, and she was a founding supporter of Equality Maine MLGPA.

Betsy was able to do all this while raising three amazing young women—Paley, Dani and Thea—as a single mother. It is obviously difficult in today’s economy to raise one child as a single parent, let alone three. Betsy was only able to do this by being an entrepreneur. Working the classic 9-5 wasn’t going to work out for her family, so she decided to start her own small business, Moose Ridge Associates, which allowed her to work irregular hours and spend quality time with her children. She also understands what it’s like to have children burdened with student debt who are looking at an economy where gainful employment isn’t a sure thing. Betsy understands that the challenges her children face are the same challenges for millions of Americans.