Party affiliation:

Democrat

Residence:

Fairfield

Social media accounts:

Karen Kusiak for Maine Senate

Occupation:

Teacher educator

Education:

Nashua (NH) Senior High School, 1971; A.B. Colby College, 1975; M.Ed. Lesley College Graduate School (now Lesley University), 1983; Ed.D. (doctor of education) University of Maine, 2011

Community Organizations:

AAUW – Waterville Branch member (former state policy chair); Board of Directors Maine Academy of Natural Sciences in Fairfield, member; Waterville Area New Mainers Project/Capital Area New Mainers Project, member; SAD 49 Board of School Directors, former long-time member; Hope House English Language Program, steering committee member; Friends of Music at Colby; Maine Film Center, member/donor; volunteer, Evening Sandwich Program, Colby Cares Day, Maine International Film Festival

Personal information (hobbies, etc.):

I enjoy cooking, film viewing, attending concerts, walking or light hiking, travel, and visiting family.

Family status:

I am a parent of adult daughters.

Years in the Legislature:

2

Committee assignments (if elected):

Education and Cultural Affairs Committee

Q&A

1) What legislation do you support, if any, to address the state’s opiate crisis?

I support preventing addiction through community support for youth/young adults and holding pharmaceutical companies accountable. Treatment for addicts, drug courts, and enforcement of exiting laws.

2) What legislation do you support, if any, to address failures in the state’s child abuse prevention system?

I support the legislation that was passed in the summer of 2018. The legislation will increase the numbers of child protective workers and increase the compensation for foster care.

3) Should schools continue to push forward with proficiency-based diplomas? Why or why not?

I support LD 1666 that the Legislature passed recently. Schools should choose whether to proceed with PBD. If I were on a board, I’d vote no. Educators can contact me for a complete explanation.

4) Are you in favor of some type of universal health care for Maine residents? Why, or why not?

I support a federal program. For now, I support expanding Medicare to provide access to health care for many struggling families — including working families. Also, expansion creates jobs.

5) Do you support Question 1 (the 3.8% tax to fund the home care program)? Why, or why not?

I support the concept behind Question 1; we must consider the in-home care needs of veterans and seniors. I worry about the implementation of this specific referendum question and thus I will vote no.

6) Are you frustrated by the political sniping, exaggeration and even lies between the parties and their supporters that have threatened progress usually reached through respect and reasoned compromise? If so, what will you personally do to make the situation better?

Voters I speak to regularly raise political bickering and dysfunction in Augusta as major problems; I agree. My record of working across the aisle and of working in my community speaks for itself.

7) Tell voters something about yourself that they don’t already know, and might surprise them.

I enjoy rowing pilot gigs with Come Boating for recreation and exercise, and I find it challenging to respond to complex questions in 200 or fewer characters. Please contact me for thorough responses.

Speed Round

Should voters be required to show ID at the polls?

No

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.