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|Why did you get involved in politics?|
As a child growing up in East Baltimore, I often watched my father open the doors to his grocery store early for local steelworkers to buy their lunches before the morning shift. It was here that I first learned the values of hard work and neighbor helping neighbor. I became determined to make a difference in my community, so I began my career as a social worker. When the neighborhoods I was working in were threatened by the proposed construction of a 16-lane highway, I organized members of those communities and together we saved some of Baltimore’s most vital neighborhoods.
|What are your main responsibilities as a Senator?|
My job description is simple- to serve the people of Maryland. Throughout my career, I have returned home each night to the city of Baltimore. From city activist to United States Senator, I have always believed that all politics and policy is local. I am proud to be the Senator from Maryland and the Senator for Maryland.
During a typical day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., I spend most of my time on the Senate floor debating a bill or in committee meetings with other Senators. When I’m not in Washington, I travel around Maryland, meeting and getting to know the people I represent.
|What’s the best thing you’ve ever done as a politician?|
I am proud of many things I have accomplished throughout my career. I have always been a leader on women’s health, fighting for equality in health research and making sure that women get the quality of care they deserve. I have also fought to protect Maryland families, communities, and seniors. One of the things I am most proud of is strengthening the safety net for seniors by passing the Spousal Anti-Impoverishment Act. This important legislation helps keep seniors from going bankrupt while paying for a spouse’s nursing home care.
|What is the hardest part of your career?|
The most difficult thing about being a Senator is considering whether or not to send American troops to war. That is not a responsibility that I take lightly. While I continue to fight to provide our troops with the resources they need in the field, I am proud to have voted against sending our men and women in uniform into the War in Iraq.
|What is the most enjoyable part of your career?|
The most exciting part about being a Senator is knowing that I have helped make a difference in people’s lives. My goal has always been to serve Marylanders and to help them meet their day-to-day needs. My proudest moments are when I win the battles I am fighting for the people of Maryland.
|Where did you attend school and what did you study?|
I attended the Institute of Notre-Dame, an all-girls Catholic high school. I went on to earn my Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Mt. St. Agnes College and a Master of Social Work, community organizing from University of Maryland School of Social Work.
|If you weren’t a Senator, which profession would you have chosen?|
Growing up, I always wanted to be a scientist. My parents took me to see a movie about Marie Curie, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, and I was inspired. However, I quickly learned that science was not my calling – when I went away to college, I got a ‘C’ in chemistry and an ‘A’ in social sciences. Although I went with my strengths and became a social worker, I haven’t lost my love for science. I now chair the U.S. Senate Subcommittee that funds science and research.
|What’s your ideal meal?|
Crab cakes, of course. My mom’s recipe, made with fresh Maryland crabmeat (what else?) is out of this world. I love the recipe so much, I wanted to share it with everyone- you can find it on my website by clicking here. When I’m not eating delicious crab cakes, I follow what I call a heart healthy diet, which isn’t always easy. I like parsley, but I like pizza better!
|What’s your favorite piece of classical music?|
Frederic Chopin’s ‘Heroic’ Polonaise in A flat major, Op. 53