As a resident of the 97th Assembly District here in Waukesha, Marga Krumins says she feels “orphaned.” That’s because Bill Kramer (R) is her representative. “If I want to be heard, not necessarily agreed with, but even heard, I have to go to representatives in the Milwaukee area, “ Krumins told me over coffee on Saturday. “The only way a representative government can work is if the representative, at the very least, is aware of what the people in his/her constituency want and need.” That’s one reason Marga Krumins will attempt to unseat Speaker Pro Tem Bill Kramer. She just might win.
Everything I really needed to know about Marga Krumins I learned one year ago during the Supreme Court Recount at the Waukesha County Courthouse. She and I were volunteer observers for the Kloppenburg campaign where tensions were high and a lot was at stake. Krumins and I disagreed on a strategic method, but we worked it out, and I respected the way she handled that conflict; I saw firsthand how adept Krumins is at problem-solving and conflict resolution.
She first learned those skills growing up on a dairy farm in Galloway, Wisconsin, where she was raised by strong-willed individuals in a family “where everyone thought they were right.” She also spent a lot of time with Republican families who did not share her viewpoints, but with whom she could easily get along and with whom she would often amicably discuss political issues.
Krumins started to become who she is today when she first attended college. But her Liberal Arts degree did not leave her many choices for employment, so after she graduated she found herself accepting whatever jobs she could to stay afloat. She’s worked as a waitress, bartender, factory worker, pre-apprentice steam-fitter, and more. She is literally “of the people.”
Krumins even worked professionally with horses, her passion, before going back to school at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau to get the degrees necessary to work as a software developer, now her full-time profession. In fact, a job offer in software development is what brought her to Waukesha in the fall of 2006.
Krumins decided to enter the political fray because “we’re at a key time.” It concerns her that policies put into place over the past year have been regressive, from the treatment of workers to women and then some. She doesn’t want to see Wisconsin go back to the Gilded Age.
Krumins is a progressive; she’s pro-collective bargaining, pro-Planned Parenthood and women’s rights, pro-environment, pro-affordable health care, and believes in equal rights for all.
Krumins understands that change doesn’t occur in one fell swoop, that lasting change is often accomplished in increments. “It’s a push-pull type of process,” she says. The most important thing she’d need to do as a representative, she tells me, is to listen-really listen-to her constituents. She wants people to have a voice, to be heard.
When asked about her chances of winning Krumins replied, “I think my chances right now are doable.” Her biggest impediment is her full-time job. But with the number of volunteers she is sure to amass after the spring recalls are over, I’d say her chances are better than “doable.” I think she’s going to win.
Right now Marga is focused less on getting volunteers and more on funding her campaign and gathering the 200 signatures necessary to get on the ballot before the June 1 deadline (she hopes to collect 400.) For more information about Marga Krumins, you can visit her website, MargaKrumins.com, find her on Facebook, and/or come out and meet her in person on April 19 for her official campaign kickoff at the Waukesha Labor Temple.
Go, Marga, go!