Betty Jean Grant has been a resident of Buffalo, NY, for over 42 years. Legislator Grant was born and raised in Brighton, Tennessee, a small rural town approximately 18 miles from Memphis. Betty Jean is the mother of three daughters and the grandmother of Amanda and Aaron Rojas, Monica Patton and Quentin Grant-Littleton. She has been married to George E. Grant since 1970.
In 1980, Betty Jean and her husband George opened a family-owned deli on East Ferry Street. This venture allowed the Grants to become self-employed and it also provided employment opportunities for their daughters in addition to other youths in the community. The store remains one of the few remaining African-American owned and operated stores in the City of Buffalo.
Legislator Grant attended Medaille College, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1993. She earned a Master of Science degree in Special Education from Buffalo State College. Betty Jean has taught in the Buffalo Public Schools as well as the federal Head Start Program. She is the founder of AIDS Education, Information and Support Services (AEISS), an HIV/AIDS prevention education organization.
Legislator Grant was elected to the Buffalo Common Council in 1999 representing the University District. She served two full terms on the Common Council and is proud of her accomplishments as the University District Councilmember. She takes credit for bringing two Tim Horton stores to the district as well as an Aldi’s Supermarket. Legislator Grant is known for having worked tirelessly on the redevelopment of McCarthy Park, turning it into a first-class City of Buffalo family park.
In 2004, Betty Jean Grant was elected to the Buffalo Public School Board of Education, representing the Ferry District. She was elected to the Erie County Legislature in 2007 and was re-elected by landslide victories in 2009 and 2011. In 2012, she accepted the distinguished honor of serving as Chair of the Erie County Legislature after both her Democratic and Republican colleagues unanimously voted for her.
Betty Jean Grant is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for her diligent and unyielding dedication and contributions as a public servant. She is also a member of many groups and organizations including the Mary B. Talbert Civic and Cultural Club, Housing Opportunities Made Equal, SCLC, NAACP, and the Buffalo Crime Reduction Task Force. As Chair of the Legislature, she also currently serves on the Erie County Industrial Development Association (ECIDA) Board of Directors.
Chairwoman Grant resides in Buffalo with her husband George. Together, they still own and operate Grant Variety Shoppe located at 1055 E. Ferry Street, Buffalo, New York.