The County Voice

CSAC is Ready for the Challenges That Lie Ahead

CSAC is Ready for the Challenges That Lie Ahead

Here’s to a new year!

I have looked forward to this year when I serve as CSAC President because I am excited about what it will bring. It’s a year that promises to be challenging, but I’m confident it will be ultimately rewarding on a number of levels.

For starters, we enter the year with strong and dedicated leadership at the Officer, Executive Committee and Board of Directors levels. Combine that with an aggressive, talented staff, and we are ready for the rollercoaster ride that lies ahead.

We are also entering 2019 with a new Governor, and many new faces in the Administration and Legislature. While new relationships must be forged, we start the year knowing that Governor-Elect Newsom has local government experience and shares many of the same priorities as California Counties. Interrelated issues such as housing, homelessness and behavioral health are at the top of his agenda – and we look forward to developing new partnerships as we take part in the conversation and subsequent solutions that leaves no county behind.

And while we are tackling these ongoing societal issues, we will also be focused on finding solutions to an issue that has devastated so many of our counties over the past 18 months: wildfires. Much progress was made last year through SB 901, but the work is far from over. SB 901 was an important first step; we have just begun the marathon on how we can increase wildfire prevention to better serve our communities. It’s a complex issue with a lot of voices wanting to have their say. But just like last year, we will work relentlessly to ensure that the concerns and needs of all California Counties will be heard.

Tragedies are equal opportunity events. They don’t care if you are urban, suburban or rural. They don’t care if you’re north or south, east or west, what ethnicity or political party you may be. 

We, every one of our 58 counties, are vulnerable to the unexpected tragedies that happen all too frequently. But, we are not going to let our tragedies define us. We are going to continue working hard to ensure that we are there for all counties. And that philosophy is going to extend beyond tragedy and into Sacramento and Washington, DC.

Beyond the issues outlined above, CSAC will focus on a number of other key priorities in the coming year, including In-Home Support Services, the 2020 Census, bail reform and local land-use authority. These issues have real impacts on our counties. Much work has already been undertaken by CSAC staff and we plan on ensuring our county interests and concerns are at the forefront.

As an officer for the past two years, I have been privy to the inner workings of our association and have been remarkably impressed at the lengths the CSAC team goes to ensure all 58 counties are represented. Every county has a voice at the table. During my past two years as an officer, I have had the opportunity to sit down and talk with many of you. Your insight, experiences and viewpoints on the issues we face are important to CSAC leadership.

Our staff is constantly on the road — from Del Norte to San Diego, Inyo to Santa Clara Counties, they are there for all of us. Take advantage of that.

While the issues in front of us may change, our commitment does not. We are involved in CSAC because we see the big picture. We understand that what happens in Sacramento and Washington, D. C. has a direct impact on our ability to govern in our own counties.

No one can tackle the challenges ahead alone and expect to succeed; we need each other. I urge you to get involved, no matter how new you are to your position. CSAC is YOUR Association.

We need to be willing to step up and commit to the bigger community – the community of California’s 58 counties. There will be times in the next year when I will call on you – for your expertise, your voice, or perhaps your relationships.

As a former orchestra member, I visualize CSAC as an amazing symphony with each county representing a different instrument. When our instruments come together and create one piece of music, people listen.

We are stronger when working together and speaking in one voice. I am proud and excited to be working with all of you this year as we continue to advocate and fight for all 58 of California’s counties.

And so 2019 begins.

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