Keep Marin Marin Project Launches

New project focuses on lifting up the work that each of us does to keep Marin clean, to keep Marin safe, to keep Marin healthy, or in other words, to keep Marin Marin.

Marin's quality of life is legendary — it's what attracts businesses, tourists, and those of us who are lucky enough to live and raise a family here. We, like the rest of the country, are facing significant challenges, but because a wise citizenry chose to invest in our communities, Marin has great schools, beautiful beaches, mountains and trails, great libraries, roads, open space, and clean air and water.

Too often we take this for granted, but maintaining our quality of life doesn’t just happen. There are countless people — citizens, volunteers and county workers — who get up every day and do their part to keep Marin beautiful, clean, educated, safe and healthy. To the average Marinite they may be invisible. And the results of their work, whether it is safe drinking water, tested by a county employee, or a clean sidewalk, tended to by a small business owner, are assumed to be the norm, not something anyone had to work for or invest in.

The Keep Marin Marin project, which launched this week, focuses on lifting up the work that each of us does to keep Marin clean, to keep Marin safe, to keep Marin healthy, or in other words, to keep Marin Marin.

So much of that work often flies under the radar. Did you know, for example, that Marin has a Behavioral Health team dedicated to serving domestic violence victims — people, mostly women and children, who are in desperate situations with nowhere else to turn? And while we don’t often contemplate how county health employees spend their days, during disease outbreaks they are on the front lines. During the H1N1 contagious illness crisis in 2009, Linda Ferguson, a county nurse, administered vaccines and stood ready with a containment plan.

Most people aren’t aware that many Marin children learn to read in the Marin Free Library, where the children’s librarian, Miss Kitty, has been reading to small children and doing everything necessary to keep the doors open for the past 14 years.

We are stronger when we work together as evidenced by the repeated rankings of Marin in the top 10 when it comes to everything from quality of life to education to longevity. In difficult times, Keep Marin Marin is dedicated to highlighting the people — and the places and events — that are at the heart of Marin.

This project is something that every Marinite is a part of. Do you own a small business? Work to keep our environment clean? Volunteer at an animal shelter? You are part of the culture of service that defines Marin, and makes us one of the best — or perhaps the best — place in the world to live, work and raise a family.

— Judy Williams, Novato

You can check us out, tell us what you do to keep Marin Marin, and meet some of the individuals who do great work at www.KeepMarinMarin.org or on Facebook. Keep Marin Marin is a joint project of the Marin Association of Public Employees and the Marin County Management Employees Association.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Karen June 14, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I think it's kind of like being a mother ..... you don't get noticed unless you stop doing your job.
Lennon W. June 14, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Ricardo and Bob, I agree with you that the activists and the philanthropists were instrumental in building the quality of life we have here in Marin County, and throughout California. But, I don't really understand the persecution of the County Employees. Local, state and national public employees are public servants, civil servants, individuals who test your water and teach your kids, distribute social services, manage your recycling. Thankless jobs that have to be done so that we can all live our lives in this beautiful place. Shouldn't people who work hard earn a decent wage? I'm okay knowing that my taxes pay the salary of someone who serves the public good - and I'm thankful that these people exist for our community.
Rico June 15, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Lennon. I never said that public employees don't deserve a decent wage, I was one of them in Public works for 10 years working for local municipal governments in Marin in Traffic Operations/Engineering. The reason that I left was because of the low wages, not because of lack of defined benefits. If anything, I think all the public servants deserve more money for the things that we do (or in my case did). It is true, some of the work is not glamorous, working in traffic is toxic, dangerous and stressful. Nobody see the public workers who go at midnight and paint intersections, put out raised pavement markers and do line striping. The public has no idea of how much effort and money it takes to run a sign department, and all the replacements due to theft, vandalism and accidents. Traffic signals are critical devices, people have to be called out at odd hours due to knockdowns and weather issues, but most people do take that all for granted. Some people think that signs and signals are just "there" planted by some mysterious force many moons ago by our forefathers. As a former Public Works employee who worked and lives in Marin, most of my colleagues had to commute from other counties to work here in Marin, Public employees do not earn enough to qualify for a loan to live in Marin, and that perpetuates the long commute syndrome, which degrades the whole region. The first sentence in my post was that I applaud the public workers in Marin for doing their jobs, enough said.
Tina McMillan June 17, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Perhaps Marin can stay Marin and public employees can appreciate the need for pension reform and balanced budgets, all at the same time. The private sector has had to make significant changes to the way it reimburses employees. That part of Marin is changing; now it is time for the other half to accommodate change as well. It will still be Marin, just with a balanced budget and pension reform.
Lily R. June 19, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Educating our children, helping domestic violence victims and maintaining our roads, among other things, all seem like jobs that are worth recognizing. I don't see the point in attacking people that are just trying to do their jobs and help their community--what's the harm in acknowledging, and even thanking, the people who work hard to keep Marin a great place to live?


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