Beth’s family has a long history in Alaska starting in 1918, when her grandfather Oscar spent the winter in Nome. In 1935 he returned with his young family to the Matanuska Valley to farm. Beth’s father Jay has the honor of being the state’s longest- serving legislator and the only legislator to have served as both House Speaker and Senate President. Her mother Joyce was an English teacher and full-time volunteer as Jay’s office manager.
After growing up as a legislator’s child in Juneau and Palmer, Beth earned her BA from Stanford University and her JD from the University of Santa Clara. She worked as an attorney in both private and public practice before running for office.
Beth has been elected seven times to the Alaska House of Representatives from District 3 in Juneau. During her public service she has been a strong voice for Alaskans retaining control over their resource wealth and responsible development and has been instrumental in oil and gas decisions. Beth has also been a leader to restore civility, ethics and non-partisan decision-making to the legislature. She was the original sponsor of Alaska’s world-renowned cruise ship pollution legislation.
A trusted and respected leader, Beth served on the House Finance Committee, was Minority Whip for 3 years, and is currently the House Minority Leader - the highest rank for a minority member in the House.
Beth’s husband Jim Powell was Deputy Mayor of Juneau. He works at the Department of Environmental Conservation and is a PhD student at the University of Alaska.
Beth is a member of the Alaska Native Sisterhood, Camp 2, the Fil-Am and the Filipino Communities of Juneau, and the Alaska Bar Association. Beth owns a very small jewelry making business and enjoys reading, watching movies and just being outside with Jim.