Barbara Mikulski - speakerbookingagency

Barbara Mikulski Speaker & Booking Information

Former Democratic Senator from Maryland

Category: Government and Political Officials, Liberal Speakers

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About Barbara Mikulski

Barbara Mikulski Biography

Mikulski started out in local politics, winning a seat on the Baltimore City Council in 1971. During her five years with the council, she made her first attempt at national office. Mikulski failed in her 1974 bid for the U.S. Senate, but she won a place in the U.S. House of Representatives two years later. Mikulski's dedication and strong work ethic helped her achieve this goal. She once said that it took "knocking on 15,000 doors, wearing out four pairs, and getting mugged by 47 chihuahuas" to win the election. While in House, she served on the Merchant Marine & Fisheries Committee and Energy & Commerce Committee. Mikulski also advocated for legislation to protect children and supported the Equal Rights Amendment.

In the mid-1980s, Mikulski made great strides again for women in politics. She ran for the Senate again in 1986, becoming the first female Democrat from Maryland to do so in her right. Mikulski had support from such celebrities as singer Carly Simon and renown feminist Gloria Steinem as she raised the necessary funds for her successful campaign.

Mikulski told Time magazine that "In the Senate, I plan to use the good mind, the good mouth, the good heart that God gave me." The prominently male Senate may not have known what to do with the feisty legislator from Maryland at first. She had to endure a few jokes at her expense and some concern over her preference for pants initially, but she soon proved to be a strong advocate for her constituents.

Over the years, Mikulski has been a champion for her state and for many other issues close to her heart. She has worked on behalf of women's issues, including legislation to get breast and cervical cancer screenings and treatment for the uninsured. For the elderly, Mikulski authored the Spousal Anti-Impoverishment Act to combat the potential financial crisis caused by the costs of paying for nursing home care for a spouse. She supports and encourages innovation and research in many areas as the chairwoman for the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science.

After winning her reelection bid in 2011, Mikulski is doing her best to bring more women into the Senate. She has pledged to campaign for other female candidates across the country as the 2012 election draws near. Mikulski also discussed women in the Senate in her speech at the Democratic National Convention held in September 2012.

In the weeks leading up to the convention, Mikulski said in a statement that "In this historic election, with more Democratic women running for Senate at one time than ever before, we have a tremendous opportunity to elect women and hold the Senate for Democrats," according to the Baltimore Sun. "Women . . . . make a difference when we vote and when we lead."

In 2015, Mikulski announced she would be retiring. In response to hanging it up after 30 years of service rather than preparing for another re-election campaign, she responded in her typical blunt manner: "Do I spend my time raising more money, or do I spend my time raising hell?" Later that year, the longtime senator was honored as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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