Bismarck, N.D. – “We’re all Americans and North Dakotans, but when you choose to take action, that can make a total difference,” said Marsha Lembke, 2023 legislative session tour guide.

And taking action is exactly what Marsha Lembke did.
Today she is the the tour guide for the 2023 legislative session, but her role in politics started when her grandmother got her involved in the eighth grade.
Another inspiration was her husband Claus, originally from Germany.

“So to watch a person like him choose to be an American has really been a magnificent experience over the last 50 years, actually 57 now,” Marsha shared.

Born and raised in Minnesota, Marsha moved to North Dakota in 1969.
Marsha and Claus, who was a lobbiest at the time, moved their family from Fargo to Bismarck where she ran a daycare, and eventually became a lobbiest herself.
Marsha later became the director of the Department of Transportation and retired in 2009, but something was drawing her back.

“I was missing the capitol and came back as sergeant in arms in the senate in 2011 and I’ve worked every session since then in different capacities,” Marsha explained. “I was sergeant in arms, kiosk as information specialist, and last session I was the supply room clerk.”

And today?

“This session I was hired to give the legislative tours and it’s so exciting being back each year and seeing all the people that have helped make North Dakota a great state and to help people now visit their capitol, their house and keeping involved in their government,” Marsha explained.

And with 65 tours already on the books this session, Marsha stays plenty busy, educating and sharing her passion with the citizens of North Dakota.

“As we walk through here we see a little bit of the décor. The lotus lights were designed by Edgar Miller who designed the whole capitol. And those were discovered from King Tut’s Tomb,” Marsha said.

“So in the Senate, the ceiling is made to look like the sun,” Marsha exclaimed.

“Good morning,” Marsha greeted.

“This is what makes it exciting, getting to know the people you work with,” Marsha said. “As it happens I worked with his wife at D.O.T., you know small town North Dakota.”

“The ceiling in the House is made to look like the stars and the moon,” Marsha said.

“This is the sergeant at arms in the house, Jerry Moser,” Marsha introduced. “How many years have you been here Jerry?”

“I ain’t gonna tell you,” Moser responded.

“Okay,” Marsha laughed. “He’s the icon of the house, yeah.”

“These are called turn styles, been around a long time, I really enjoy talking about them,” Marsha shared. “We used to be able to come up to the Capitol and come through this entrance and just come up here. That’s where the steps are on the side.”

And what can you expect to learn on a tour of the state capitol with Marsha?

Marsha, “The one thing they learn really quickly is don’t touch the rails in the assembly room.”

But most importantly?

“I think the biggest thing they learn is that this place is reachable, it’s not for just the famous or those who run for office,” Marsha stated. “It is the people’s house. I think the main thing they like is they can come in and be heard.”

And Marsha encourages all to come stop by the capitol for a tour, and if you would like to contact her, she can be reached through the legislative council.

Marsha Lembke, the 2023 legislative tour guide, is Someone You Should Know.