Who I am
Kim Butler is a Balsam Lake mother, community volunteer, 14 year cancer survivor and a leader in her County and District Democratic Parties. Kim became active in her community after neighbors supported her family and then-young children during her surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. Kim went from Cookie Mom to Service Unit Manager for her District’s Girl Scout Program, from soccer coach to Regional Commissioner, running the District’s program for 6 years. Kim started as her lake’s Loon Ranger, reporting on loon migration and reproduction, and was later elected to the board of the Half Moon Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District, where she served as Secretary, and currently produces the district’s publications. Kim was a member of a Unity Parent Advisory group, served on the Community Education Council for 5 years, and as a classroom and committee volunteer, a winning Destination Imagination Coach and still assists at a parent-run College Preparation day. She serves on the board of Polk County Association of Lakes and Rivers. Joining the Polk County Democratic Party in 2016, Kim went on to be elected a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, joined the party’s Steering Committee and was elected Co–Chair in 2016 and 2017, and Chair in 2019 and 2020. In 2019, Kim was elected Chair of the 7th Congressional District Democratic Party which is comprised of all or part of 26 counties. In this position she also serves on DPW’s Administrative Committee and the Rules Committee. Until recently, Kim was employed part time as an in-district representative for State Senator Patty Schachtner. Kim is also a member of Polk Burnett Indivisible, Working Families Party, Citizen Action of Western Wisconsin Organizing Co-op and The Upper St. Croix Valley League of Women Voters. Kim and her husband David moved from the Twin Cities to Balsam Lake in 2001 after the birth of their children. Kim worked for almost two decades as an award winning television and video producer for Twin Cities Public Television/PBS, The Discovery Channel, a national gardening club, and local television stations. Kim graduated with a BA in English from Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA and is an active Alumni volunteer for her alma mater. Kim will celebrate 22 years of marriage this year to her husband David Butler. David runs their small business in Milltown, WI, which started in their basement some 20 years ago, and now employs 17 people. Kim’s son Sam will be starting his third year at University of Chicago, and her daughter will be a freshman at UW Madison this fall.
Why I am Running
I am running to champion the issues I care deeply about: affordable Health Care, Public Education, and Job Growth, which I think are being neglected in our District. With the pandemic, unemployment is a serious issue in our rural counties. I think we can grow our economy and keep people healthy. In my volunteer work I have seen too many parents who work full time, yet struggle to provide for their families. I have ideas on how to expand and train for high tech and Green jobs, and work with employers to get them the skilled workers they need, as well as support family farms and a new generation of farmers moving into this area. We need family sustaining jobs here in Western Wisconsin, and creative ways to support our farmers and workers during this economic crisis. As a cancer survivor, who has purchased private insurance, been in the WI High Risk Pool, and now buys insurance through the ACA, Kim knows the importance of affordable coverage for preexisting conditions and good preventive care. The pandemic has exposed the flaws in our health insurance system according to Kim, People shouldn’t need a spaghetti dinner fundraiser when they get a serious illness. Prescription Drugs should not cost as much as a rent payment. Kim’s parents were both first generation college students. Education can move a family out of poverty in one generation. As a mom, I have seen how the cuts to Wisconsin schools affected my kids and their teachers during the Walker administration. I am the daughter of a public school teacher, and I know how hard teachers work. Governor Evers has made great strides in restoring funding, and he needs a legislature that values public education to work with him.