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Hannah Pingree's Bio & Track Record
In addition to the biographical details of my official profile (just below this paragraph), I wanted to provide my own version (below the official bio) including a bit more information about who I am, where I came from, why I serve in public office, and why I believe that being involved in politics is important. Afterall, it's only fair that you get the full story about who's representing you in Augusta.
Hannah Pingree grew up on the island of North Haven and is now serving in her second term in the Maine House of Representatives, representing ten coastal and island towns in Knox and Hancock County. In her first term in the Maine House, she served as a member of the Joint Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs and now in her second term she has been appointed as the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Health and Human Services.
Prior to serving in the Maine Legislature, she was a fundraiser for the U.S. Senate campaign of Chellie Pingree, her mom. She also worked for two years in New York City as the political director and "Election 2000" producer for iVillage.com, the largest political web site for women. In addition to serving in the Legislature, Hannah works as the development director for Waterman's Community Center on North Haven. She also serves as a board member for Midcoast Mental Health, as the legislative representative for the Zone C Lobster Council, as the co-chair of the "Midcoast Magnet" creative economy initiative, and as a member of the State Work Action Tactics Team.
Hannah was raised on the island of North Haven and was an honors graduate of North Haven Community School, Brown University, and was chosen as a 1998-99 Fellow for Leadership in Public Affairs for the Coro Foundation in New York City.
In the Legislature she represents 10 islands and coastal towns including her hometown of North Haven, Vinalhaven, Isle Au Haut, Deer Isle, Stonington, Brooklin, Tremont, part of Mount Desert, Frenchboro, and Swan's Island.
As my bio says, I grew up on the island of North Haven and graduated from the smallest public K-12 school in the state of Maine in a class of five students (we were all girls!). Growing up on an island was by far the most important experience of my life and has given me a tremendous sense of community, responsibility, and passion for making year-round life on islands and in small Maine communities possible.
Although I loved growing up on the island, like most kids who grow up in a small town, by the time I was a senior in high school I was ready to leave what we called "the rock". I remember my first week of college at Brown University in Providence, RI, and the Dean of Students speaking about the diversity of our freshman class. He talked about how students in my class of '98 were from high school graduating classes as large as 2000 and as small as five. The five was obviously me and I realized then how unique it was growing up in a place where you wave to everyone you pass on the road and know most people driving on and off the ferry.
At school, I got to know and love Providence, majored in political science, spent an incredible semester abroad in South Africa studying women in South African government and got involved in both the varsity crew and sailing teams. After graduating from college, I moved to New York City to spend a year serving as a Coro Fellow for Leadership in Public Affairs. The Coro Fellowship, which many people thought was for singers (which I most certainly am not!), was a yearlong program for people interested in public service. The basic idea was to expose us to the intricacies of the modern political world. During the program, I worked for the New York City Office of Management and Budget, the Teamsters, the New York State Republican Party (they wanted us to experience views different from our own!), American Express, the Crown Heights Community Mediations Center, the Lower East Side Girls Club, and iVillage.com.
After Coro, I ended up taking a job working at iVillage, the largest website for women, where I spent two years as a member of the internet generation, producing their coverage of the 2000 election. Just when internet companies started to lose their luster in the business world, and my company began its layoffs, my mom decided to run for U.S. Senate, so I moved home in 2001 to help her run her campaign. While she wasn't ultimately successful, I learned a great deal about Maine politics and policy and traveled the entire state of Maine with her campaign.
After about a year of being home working for my mom, I was asked if I would consider running for the State Legislature. At the age of 25, I felt too young, too inexperienced, and wasn't sure if I was ready. But after talking to friends and family, I decided to run. (Read more about life on the campaign trail in my campaign journal.) After months of hard work, knocking on doors, and getting to know the people of all the communities of my district, I won my race!
Now, after my first two years in office, I can easily say that being home, serving the islands I care so much about, and helping to improve policies of our state and the lives of Maine people has been absolutely worth it. It is one of the most important, exciting, and interesting jobs I can imagine doing. Maine's legislature, a citizen legislature, is an incredible institution, with a variety of committed people— who don't always agree— but whom I believe all try to do what is best for their constituents.
Now, after two years in office, I spend part of my year working in Augusta, and part of the year back home on the island. As a citizen legislator, we have to have another job to pay the bills, so I also work as the Development Director for our new Waterman's Community Center. Come visit us anytime!
I have a sister, Cecily, and brother, Asa, a half-sister, Ava, and a new nephew, Smith (Asa's son). Cecily is a woman of many talents and trades. She spent the past year making incredible movies and sterning (short for "stern man" on a lobster boat) for an island fisherman. My brother, Asa, is an actor and father of Smith in New York City, currently putting his acting on hold to start a skateboard company. My mom, Chellie, ran a large farm on the island then started a knitting store and mail-order knitting business for most of my childhood. In 1992 she was elected to the Maine Senate where she spent eight years, eventually serving as Senate Majority Leader, before running for the U.S. Senate in 2002. (She didn't win.) She now serves as the president of Common Cause.
My dad is a boat builder on the island, crafting incredible boats like the Banks Cove 22, which he designed and produced for a number of years, and the 54-foot tri-maran Flying Fish, which he recently built for our family. My step-mom, Susan Minot, mother of the wild and wonderful 3-year old Ava, lives on the island and continues to work as a successful writer of novels, poetry and screenplays.
My boyfriend, Jason Mann, is definitely (if not officially) also a member of my family. He, like my sister, is a filmmaker, currently shooting and editing a documentary film. He is a serious Red Sox fan, Philadelphia Eagles fan (he can't help it, he grew up in Philadelphia), and is a dog-lover.
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