Barbara Osborn Kreamer pioneered political service for women in Maryland.
A resident of Aberdeen, she was an American lawyer, politician and Democratic member of the Maryland House of Delegates. She was the first woman member of the Harford County Council and the first elected member of a county board in Maryland to give birth.
Kreamer served one term on the County Council of Harford County, Maryland from 1978 to 1982. She represented the County Council to the Northeast Regional Waste Authority and the Board of Estimates. She led the Council to increase funding for public education improving Harford’s funding ranking in the state. She initiated a comparable worth plank in the American County Platform from her post on the National Association of Counties Committee on Labor and Employee Benefits.
Two governors appointed Kreamer to four year terms on the Maryland Commission for Women in 1977 and 1981. She led the comparable worth initiative that reformed the Maryland state government pay plan to pay workers in female and minority dominated positions according to comparable worth principles.
Kreamer was elected to two terms of the Maryland General Assembly, representing District 34, Harford County, from 1983 until 1991. She sponsored successful education, employment, family and procurement bills. Kreamer chaired the Procurement Subcommittee that reviewed and sponsored a long delayed revision of the Maryland Procurement Code. The Maryland State Teachers’ Association, the Maryland Psychologists’ Association, Nine to Five: Baltimore Working Women and the Maryland Nurses Association gave Kreamer awards.
She served as the President of the Maryland Association of Elected Women in 1985. Elected by the Democrats of the First Congressional District of Maryland, she was a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1988 that nominated Michael Dukakis.
In 1990, Kreamer ran for Congress in the 1st Congressional District. She lost in the Democratic Primary to Congressman Roy Dyson, who then lost to first time candidate Republican Wayne T. Gilchrest in the General election, who subsequently lost the Republican nomination in 2008. Kreamer was endorsed by The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun and EMILY’s List.
In 1994, Kreamer ran for lieutenant governor on a Democratic primary slate headed by state Sen. Mary A. Boergers, D-Montgomery, in the “first all-woman ticket” in the nation. The winning ticket was Parris Glendening and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.
In 1998 and 2002 Democrats of Harford County elected Kreamer to the Democratic State Central Committee with the highest number of votes on the ten member board. In 2006 Kreamer was reelected to a third term, and reelected once again in 2010.
In the 2002 elections Kreamer ran for District E of the Harford County Council to represent Aberdeen, Churchville, Hickory and Fountain Green. Kreamer was unopposed in the Primary, and The Baltimore Sun endorsed her in the General Election. Republican Richard Slutzky, an Aberdeen High School retired teacher, won.
From 1971 to 1976 an English and Creative Writing teacher at Bel Air High School, Kreamer later became a lawyer after graduating from the University of Maryland School of Law and passing the Maryland bar. She conducted a solo general civil practice of law in Harford and Cecil Counties.
She received a B.A. from Washington College in 1970, an M.L.A. from The Johns Hopkins University in 1975, and a J.D. from University of Maryland School of Law in 1989.