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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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Butte CountyCandidate for Board of Supervisors, District 3

Photo of Tami Ritter

Tami Ritter

6,620 votes (54.6%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Protection of the North State's water interests and enforcement of prudent water policy.
  • Increased collaboration between county and city governments to address the jurisdiction's housing crisis and mental health service gaps.
  • Countywide emergency preparedness for protection from fire, flood, and natural disasters. Increased communication systems to aid in evacuation and sheltering.



Profession:Mediator, Director of Family Court Services
Director Family Court Services, Mediator/Recommending Counselor, Superior Court of Ca, County of Glenn, Judicial Council (2014–current)
Commissioner, First 5 Commissioner — Appointed position (2014–current)
Council Member, Chico City Council — Elected position (2012–2016)
Educator/Group Facilitator, Family Violence Education Program (2011–2014)
Addiction Counselor, Treatment Trends - Confront (2009–2010)
Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Butte County (2006–2008)
Executive Director, Torres Community Shelter (2000–2005)


International Institute for Restorative Practices Master of Science, Restorative Justice & Counseling (2010)
University of LaVerne Master of Science, Developmental Psychology (2005)
Ithaca College Bachelor's Degree, Comparative Religious Studies (1993)

Community Activities

Associate Board Member, Community Housing Improvement Program (2002–current)
Founding Director, Circles of Justice (2013–current)
Conflict Resolution Instructor, Middle East Partnership Initiative (US State Department) (2017–2017)


Tami is a former Board Member of the League of Women Voters, where she served as co-chair of the Social Justice Committee. Tami has served as an Associate Board member for Community Housing Improvement Program for the past 17 years. She is an avid supporter of the Butte Environmental Council, AquAlliance, Crisis Care Advocacy & Triage, Chico Peace and Justice Center, NSPR, Friends of the Library, and the Chico Housing Action Team. In her spare time, Tami also volunteers for the nonprofit she co-founded, Circles of Justice, teaching Restorative Practices to educators, administrators, teachers, and parents.


Tami's experience as a Chico City Councilor from 2012-2016 strengthened her commitment to serve our community. She is invested in seeing Butte County develop in a thoughtful and strategic manner where we protect our natural environment, provide opportunity for citizens and businesses to flourish, and ensure the well-being of future Butte County residents.   

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • United Domestic Workers, The Homecare Providers Union
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Organizations (3)

  • Working Families Party
  • California Nurses Association
  • United Food and Commercial Workers 8, Golden State

Elected Officials (1)

  • Maureen Kirk, Butte County Supervisor District 3

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I chose Butte County as my home over twenty years ago. During that time I have lived in Butte Valley, Oroville, Brush Creek, and Chico. I understand that Butte County is not homogenous but encompasses diverse communities with diverse needs. As your Butte County Supervisor I will work with all citizens of the county to ensure that their specific needs are being heard and addressed by the Board. I truly believe there is no better place to live than the North State. From our rich agricultural heritage to our vast options for outdoor recreation, we have an obligation to preserve and protect this beautiful place we are lucky enough to call home. 


In 2012 I ran for city council, promising voters that I would exercise fiscal conservatism, that I would work diligently with constituents of all political persuasions, and that I would always make myself accessible to citizens to hear their concerns and ideas. During my term on council I consistently voted for sound fiscal policy eliminating an over 8 million dollar deficit and setting the City on the correct course. 


As a County Supervisor, I promise to continue to embrace the same fiscally prudent values, to work diligently to protect the North State’s water interests, protect our valuable agricultural land, increase collaboration between County and City governments to address our housing crisis, mental health service gaps, and emergency preparedness. Not only will I be a champion for responsible and sustainable development, I will work to ensure that our community has adequate fire coverage across the diverse regions. 


To find our more about my values, education/training and relevant experience, please visit

Position Papers

Public Safety/Emergency Preparedness


Public Safety/Emergency Preparedness is a very broad topic which requires a great deal of collaboration between governments and non-governmental agencies and programs. 

Public Safety/Emergency preparedness is at the top of my priority list and includes both police and firefighters, as well as other emergency responders, outreach workers, public works, and a variety of other community partners, working together. When we look at a comprehensive plan for what our community will need in the event of a natural or human-caused crisis, we must include countywide communications, evacuation planning, emergency shelter/supplies, as well as transportation, accommodations for individuals with disabilities, and battery backup for those dependent upon medical interventions which require power sources. 


Because of the varied terrain and remote communities in our County, we must have plans in place to reach residents in rural and mountain communities that lack adequate cell coverage. Grassroots networking will be the best way to ensure that everyone is accounted for in the event of an emergency. Our local community of Cohasset currently has only one road in and out of the foothill community. This makes maintenance and up- keep of that one road even more critical. Alternate routes for evacuation must also be explored and included in the community planning process. 


Emergency planning includes road maintenance and road crews to ensure that roads are passable from downed trees, power lines, and other obstructions. Additionally, prioritizing tree care and the services of an arborist is an important part of keeping our roads safe and passable. Our tree crews, who maintain the health of our urban forest, assess trees that may be diseased or dying and remove hazardous trees which helps to keep citizens safe.


Emergency planning also means making sure we have sanitation measures in place prior to a catastrophic event. The City of San Diego recently found themselves in the heart of a preventable emergency public health crisis. By providing adequate restrooms and sanitation the City of San Diego could have circumvented a Hepatitis A outbreak that spread to over 580 people and hospitalized over 400. I feel very strongly that Butte County needs to have a sanitation plan in place right now while our county is experiencing a housing crisis. Addressing the needs of the community prior to a Hepatitis outbreak ensures that our hospitals do not become overburdened with infection cases, that public health does not need to hold emergency immunization clinics, and that our public workers do not need to spend time decontaminating streets and sidewalks. Butte County needs to prioritize the provision of bathrooms and wash stations in their urban cores. Additionally, in collaboration with non-governmental agencies, the public health department should work with the Cities of Chico and Oroville to coordinate immunization clinics for at-risk populations.


Public Safety/Emergency Preparedness is a very broad topic and will require a great deal of collaboration between governments and non-governmental agencies and programs. The only way to effectively deal with these various issues is through effective collaboration. Using my skills as a professional Mediator as well as knowledge gained from serving four years as an elected Chico City Councilmember, I will effectively facilitate collaborative efforts and partnerships to provide the best possible services to our County’s constituents.

Housing/Homelessness/Behavioral Health


To effectively administer services throughout the county we must coordinate between all the cities and prioritize together where the county-wide resources should be allocated. 

If you live in Butte County you have undoubtedly heard of or seen the effects of our current housing crisis. As an example, the city of Chico has less than a 1% vacancy rate for rental units. My experiences as the Executive Director of The Torres Community Shelter and of Butte County Habitat for Humanity have informed my position that Chico needs to build up and infill to provide more housing stock.


When housing stock is unavailable, especially for lower income individuals and individuals with behavioral health issues, the issue of homelessness becomes more pronounced. There are many reasons why individuals may find themselves without stable housing. Currently there is a narrative that suggests being homeless is related to a moral failing, however, statistics don’t support this concept. Poverty is without a doubt the single most significant factor. Loss of a job, physical health issues, behavioral health issues, legal issues, loss of a loved one, all of these can lead one to homelessness. Without effective social safety nets, we see more and more people literally on the streets.


Butte County's Continuum of Care (COC) is a group comprised of area service providers and local governments. COC is the entity that receives the funding from the State to support homeless prevention services, outreach, and direct client services. As your County Supervisor, I would like the see the COC receive ALL the funding that is available for our County. Currently, the COC is being penalized $50,000 annually due to the City of Chico's Sit/Lie & ‘Protection of Waterways’ ordinances. The Department of Housing and Community Development withholds funds from any jurisdiction that passes ordinances that they deem as criminalizing homelessness. I would like to see that rectified by promoting ordinances that are proven effective and that don’t cause the County to lose funds.


Professionals in the housing field know that such criminalizing ordinances are ineffective and costly to the jurisdictions that implement them. To effectively administer services throughout the county we must coordinate between all the cities and prioritize together where the county-wide resources should be allocated. One city within the Continuum of Care should not be permitted to negatively affect the funding available to the county as a whole. 


We must also begin to look at the intersection between our housing crisis and public safety. When an individual doesn't have a fixed address, they are much more likely to have contact with law enforcement and emergency services. As the Founding Executive Director of the Torres Community Shelter, I demonstrated how providing housing and social services is effective in moving individuals from a state of homelessness to being housed. Housing First and other harm-reduction services are effective ways to reduce homelessness as well as to reduce costly and ineffective interventions by law enforcement and those are the types of ordinances and projects I will support. There is a significant cost to our community when our focus is on penalizing rather than housing homeless individuals. We will save not just lives but considerable resources when we shift our focus from criminalization to housing.


As the Founding Director of Circles of Justice, a local Restorative Justice non-profit, I am well versed in approaches such as Restorative Policing, Community Circles and Family-Centered Decision Making. These approaches alleviate the burden placed on law enforcement and our judicial system for low-level offenses. By transferring the responsibility for addressing these harms back to social service entities which are better suited to deal with such issues, public safety personnel are freed up to deal with significant crime.

Protection of the North State's Water Interests


Water is and will continue to be the single greatest issue in Butte County. It is critically important that Butte County protect itself against State and Federal agencies that would like to export both ground and surface water from our region. 

Water is and will continue to be the single greatest issue in Butte County. It is critically important that Butte County protect itself against State and Federal agencies that would like to export both ground and surface water from our region. As environmental protections are being systematically dismantled by our current administrations, it becomes even more important that we have the political will on the local level to take a stand for the North State’s water. 

As Butte County enters relicensing discussions regarding the Oroville Dam, we must be represented to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. I support the actions of the previous Board of Supervisors which filed a CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) lawsuit regarding the analysis of the Environmental Impact Report against the Department of Water Resources. The suit is still pending in the Court of Appeals.


The urban and rural tree canopies that we treasure in our region have shallow root systems. The native trees and urban canopy that we depend upon to filter our air and water, conserve energy, provide habitat and shade, and control storm water are extremely vulnerable to groundwater loss.

Working with agricultural interests (both large scale and small farmers), private well users, and all of those with an interest in our region's water (all of us who use water have an interest, not the least of which includes our environment) is critical to planning for our future. We currently do not have shallow aquifer monitoring anywhere in our region. DWR and the large water districts have stated (Sacramento Valley Water Resource Monitoring, Data Collection and Evaluation Framework, 9/07) that there should be monitoring of shallow aquifer levels including a regional shallow well monitoring network. Without baseline measurements of shallow wells, we do not have a good way to track or demonstrate decreasing levels of ground water, over pumping, or other conditions related to seasonal changes. Our region includes Butte, Glenn, Tehama, and a small section of Colusa County.


As a Chico City Councilor, I co-facilitated multiple Groundwater Forums bringing together city, county, agricultural, and public interests. The citizens of Butte County deserve to have access to ALL the information that is available regarding our groundwater, specifically to the available scientific data, to what issues are still unknown, and to the threats that exist to our water systems. As your Supervisor, I will continue to stay at the forefront of this issue and to include the public in decisions that are made on the local, state, and federal level.

Videos (3)

— May 28, 2018 Tami Ritter for Supervisor 2018
— May 28, 2018 Tami Ritter for Supervisor 2018
— May 28, 2018 Tami Ritter for Supervisor 2018

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