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Elizabeth (Libby) H. Mitchell

Elizabeth Mitchell

Elizabeth H. Mitchell is wife, mother, grandmother, educator, public servant, mentor, friend, advocate, trendsetter and a leader.

The first time Libby approached the Maine legislature was to lobby in support of the Equal Rights Amendment with the League of Women Voters. In 1974 Libby Mitchell was elected to the Maine House of Representatives and served until 1984. She again served in the House from 1990 to 1998. In 1980 she broke ground and became the first female House majority leader. Over the course of her eighteen years as a legislator, Libby has sponsored dozens of bills that have affected the lives of virtually every woman and girl in the State of Maine. Included in this legislation is expanded access to education and training for recipients of welfare, increased home ownership, and the creation of a District Court Family Division, transitional residential programs for adolescent girls at risk, and Women's Recognition Week within the Maine school system.

From 1986 to 1990, as Director of the Maine State Housing Authority, Libby worked diligently to expand rental housing to help meet the needs of low-income Maine families primarily women and children; and under her leadership, the Authority won several national awards for excellence.

In 1996 Elizabeth H. Mitchell launched a new political era when she was elected the first female Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives in the state's 176-year history - the highest ranking Maine woman ever to serve in state office. The Kennebec Journal stated "The first female speaker of the Maine House certainly will not be the last, but Elizabeth Mitchell has set a standard of excellence for speakers to follow, female or male."

A graduate of Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, she received her Master's degree in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A former teacher, Libby and her husband Jim live in Vassalboro. By example, they have imparted a strong belief in public service to their four children and three grandchildren. Their daughter J. Elizabeth Mitchell served in the Maine legislature as a representative from Portland, while their son Charles was elected in 1998 to represent Vassalboro and Augusta in the House of Representatives.

With her quiet, genteel manor as mentor and leader, Libby encourages Women and girls at all levels to believe in themselves, find their voice, become involved, and value education.

1999 Photograph

Inducted March, 1999