“What’s a singer like you doing in a race like this?”

graphic courtesy of Kristen Garneu

What? A blues and soul singer is running for Marin County Supervisor?

Why? I’m running because I have something to contribute.

I’m not a politician. I do not want to become a politician. I just want to serve. Politicians are sales people. Public servants are customer service people. I have a customer service background.

What inspired me to run? My experience during that RIDICULOUS million dollar slab that was built with funding from a grant application full of false information — remember that?

ICYMI, (In case you missed it,) search Evergreen Avenue in Homestead on Google Earth and then come take a walk down Evergreen to see what your tax dollars have paid for — a million dollar, four block urban concrete slab, forced into a semi-rural neighborhood against the wishes and repeated requests by me and my neighbors that it not be built.

I documented it on several blogs since finding out about it in July of 2010, the very same month we released a CD that took more than six years to record and includes a song that took me thirty years to finish, because that song was a story about how our family lost someone we loved and then found someone we didn’t know existed. Another long story. Anyway, I dropped my efforts to promote my CD because of that ridiculous sidewalk project. And let me tell you, my husband was PISSED.

Recently retired IJ political reporter Nels Johnson asked me — Who do you blame for that? Who do I blame? Seriously?

Why do we have to blame anyone?

I am certainly not going to vilify anyone who bought into that mess because they thought it would keep kids safe. We want to keep everyone safe. What I have more of a problem with is the lack of process and disrespect for our community plan that allowed it to be built.

The street is more dangerous than it used to be in some places. It is “safer” in some places.
It is environmentally damaging. It is not sustainable.

Sure, most people have moved on from it — that is a natural thing to do when we think something is done — we move on.

I moved on past the anger and confusion a long time ago. My husband moved on the minute he saw the first person pushing a stroller on it. He tells me, “Mari, here’s what I do — I walk on the sidewalk, so I don’t have to look at it. I look up at the sky.” He’s one of those “living in the now” people. This is Marin, after all. I’m one of those people who also lives in the “now.”

The reason I still talk about it is due to the issues we have NOW— that we didn’t have then — before the County forced the slab. 
When I have to dodge yet another speeding car on what used to be a very quiet street, and when I see a neighbor in a wheelchair using a narrowed street because he can’t be bothered navigating the curb cuts — I start thinking — was all this really necessary?
Why do we even have curb cuts?
Why is ADA design an afterthought? Why don’t we just get rid of the curbs altogether?
There is a better way — who is looking for it? How can we work with them?

We are way past blame — all I want to know is — how do we fix it?

Are you tired of seeing bad decisions based upon the concept of “free money”? I am. Are we tired of projects claiming to be “safer” and more “sustainable” when they are not ?
Are we tired of twitter fights? If not, why not? If not now, when?

I am a registered Democrat, but since this is a Non Partisan election, most candidates were invited to the Marin GOP Candidates’ Forum . When one of the candidates, Ms. Kallins (co-founder of SR2S) said “we need more sidewalks in West Marin” — I almost fell off my chair. Do we really want to start pouring more concrete in West Marin, playing the kiddie card? Please, no. Use the money for education. Buy a house for a teacher or something more useful than a million dollar four block sidewalk.

Honestly, there was a time when you couldn’t pay me to be Supervisor. Now, I would probably do it for free, except I could use a steady income for the next four years. From what I have observed so far, I imagine it’ll be a bit like high school, only without the big hair. Only half joking here. If I do a good job, I’l be re-elected. If not, I won’t be. It’s that simple.

Seriously, if you think I am going to be able to continue to do any of this volunteer work without a paycheck, you are mistaken. I cannot afford to do that. Just like you, I have bills to pay. If you want to me play music for free, I need this job. If you want me to keep doing volunteer work, then pay for my music. You can’t have both.

During the many gigs between gigs, I discovered that I have a natural ability to go into challenging situations and fix what needs to be fixed. When I worked at Bigstep.com, I helped increase efficiency in the customer service department. At The Plant, I helped to transition the intern position to less of a go-fer and more hands on studio training.

I can understand why so many people think that politics, especially Marin politics, is a JOKE — but when I see people living on the streets — I don’t much feel like laughing.

During my volunteer work for the Social Enterprise Alliance, I made some great connections to social enterprises — some of these working businesses help transition people out of homelessness and into good paying jobs.

Through my volunteer work with Community Built Association, I became aware of community built planning methods and processes, Little Free Libraries, placemaking and permaculture.

I am running for Supervisor so I can put some of these skills to good use. I want to increase my reach and my impact.

During the Evergreen sidewalk controversy, I created a communication network for my neighborhood.

Communication is the key to community. I am your key to communication.

If you are ready for creative, positive change, vote for me.

Mari “Mari Mack” Tamburo for County Supervisor District 4

Thanks for reading.



p.s. If you want to support my run for Supervisor — please don’t donate to my campaign fund — just tell your friends about my campaign and/or buy my music — I don’t have a staff bookkeeper or time to deal with all that paperwork with these absolutely ridiculous campaign finance reform filing documents. I asked for enough to file — and thanks to my neighbors and some County employees, I received enough to file.

Thanks again for your consideration.