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Ariana Kelly takes helm of group dedicated to fighting for women

  • Published in State

Ariana KellyDel. Ariana Kelly (D-16). COURTESY PHOTO  

After being elected president of the Women Legislators of Maryland, Del. Ariana Kelly (District 16) proclaimed that she had just “fulfilled one of my legislative dreams.”

Kelly, who is already known around Annapolis for fighting for women’s causes, now heads an organization dedicated to the rights and needs of women and girls on issues such as child care, domestic violence and human trafficking.

“I think it’s an incredible opportunity. I think there are a lot of ways to improve women’s lives,” she said.

“For me, it’s both a tremendous honor to be elected by my colleagues, but it also is a tremendous opportunity to improve the lives of the women of Maryland.”

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In farewell, Mikulski urges bipartisanship and a warning

  • Published in News

Barbara Mikulski at DNCRetiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski addresses the audience earlier this year at the Democratic National Convention. FILE PHOTO  

WASHINGTON - Since the 1990s, Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski has periodically organized dinners with the rest of the women in the Senate, no matter the party affiliation.

The women call these dinners their “zone of civility,” in which they talk about things ranging from their personal lives to political matters. Everything is off the record, their mantra being “no staff, no memos, and no leaks."

During her farewell remarks Wednesday, which she called a "summing up" speech, Democrat Mikulski recalled the first time Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican, reached out to work together. Both women’s staff responded negatively.

“‘Ew, she wants to work with you on something,’” Mikulski recalled her staff saying. “‘She’s a conservative from Texas and she wants to do something for women.’”

To which Mikulski responded, “How about if we listen?”

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Democratic vets mull convention changes

  • Published in State

MP1 8953President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER The role and scope of women participating in the Democratic National Convention changed considerably from the time state Sen. Cheryl Kagan (D-17) first attended in 1980.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) capped that change as the dean of the Senate women formally nominated Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee, the first woman to lead a major party presidential ticket.

“Every convention is different and every convention is exciting and truly a privilege to experience and be a part of history,” said Kagan last week during a phone call from Philadelphia.

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Montgomery County loses “giant” in public service

  • Published in Local

A notable figure in public service and former member of the Montgomery County Council, Esther Gelman died June 6 at the age of 84.

For much of her life, Gelman was a key player in County politics. She served on the Council from 1974 to 1987, and sponsored important pieces of legislation such as comparable pay for women, accommodation for religious leave, prohibition of smoking in public spaces and establishing the Community Crisis Center for Women.

“She was one of the giants in our county, a person who I thought who was an excellent public servant,” said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett.

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