From Congress to consumer safety, Buerkle describes recipe for success

Women of Washington – February 11, 2015

Anne Marie Buerkle has had her fair share of success. She’s a current commissioner at the Consumer Product Safety Commission and a former New York congresswoman.

“Always keep your eyes and your ears open. Don’t ever close the door on anything,” she said during an interview on Federal News Radio’s Women of Washington radio show. “Don’t ever say I can’t do that, I won’t do that, I’m never gonna do that. Life isn’t like that. It doesn’t come in neat packages. It’s coming up with a little idea that you have or a little spark of energy, or maybe you read something and it just gets you going about an issue. So don’t ever say never.”

Courtesy of US Congress

She sat down with hosts Gigi Schumm and Aileen Black to discuss her path to Capitol Hill and what she’s found since her arrival in DC.

“We’re all members of this human community. So we all have that in common whether we’re Republicans or Democrats,” Buerkle said. “Let’s find out where that common ground is. Let’s work together where we can, but let’s respect our differences. And that’s one of the issues that I think we’re missing today, whether in politics or elsewhere, that our differences become personal. And you can’t do that. People are people, and issues are issues.”

Buerkle explained the approach she takes at the Consumer Product Safety Commission to help protect the American public.

“I would far more rather raise awareness and educate, rather than regulate. You can have a zillion regulations on the books. If the American people aren’t aware of a hidden hazard, then it doesn’t matter how many regulations are on the books. Education is such a large part of what we do,” she said.

Buerkle also discussed whether she’ll run for office again.

“I’ve had the thought. I don’t know if I would run for the seat that I was in or if I would do something else. I love public service. I loved serving on the Hill, and I’m sure at some point an opportunity will pop into my head and I’ll consider it. But right now I’m really happy at the Consumer Product Safety Commision.”

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Gigi Schumm welcomes Washington's most ambitious and influential female executives to share their secrets to success. Contact Gigi at gigischumm@gmail.com. Subscribe to Women of Washington’s audio interviews on Apple Podcasts or PodcastOne.

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