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Mikulski listens on child care and family issues

"I often say the best ideas come from the people," Sen. Barbara Mikulski told an audience of parents, teachers and child advocates during a visit to the Milford Mill Child Development Center this past March.

That's why it concerned me to see a letter portraying her as being out of touch with voters ("Mikulski should try talking to voters," Nov. 24).

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During her visit, Ms. Mikulski read stories to first-grade children and answered their questions about working in the U.S. Senate. Later that day, Maryland Family Network joined her on a panel consisting of a parent, a pediatrician and a child care provider discussing the state of child care in America.

It's been my experience that, regardless of their political affiliations, politicians want to hear from their constituents and want the honest opinions of experts.

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Recently, during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, Maryland Family Network was given the opportunity to sit down with Gov.-elect Larry Hogan's staff to discuss early child care and education issues in Maryland, including the affordability, accessibility and quality of child care and pre-kindergarten.

It's a rare politician who doesn't care what voters care about, and who doesn't want to understand an issue from all sides. I think most elected officials want to help.

They get elected by those of us who believe that they will. Based on her re-elections, Ms. Mikulski has amply justified that belief.

Margaret E. Williams, Baltimore

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The writer is executive director of Maryland Family Network.

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