The County Voice

One Family, 58 Strong!

I know a lot of you have had the chance recently to spend time with your families for the Christmas and New Year holidays. In addition to savoring the new memories my family created this holiday season, I am also thinking about the upcoming year as CSAC President and what I would like to accomplish with my County Family. 

If you know me at all, you know how important “family” is to me. That’s true for my personal family and in my professional life. In both settings, we rely on one another—we have to if we want to accomplish anything. My wife and I spend a lot of time with our grandkids — and not just because we love being with them, but also because I know my daughters and their husbands are there to help us when any issue arises with our family.

(Watch a video with CSAC President Richard Forster here.)

There is similar cooperation among California’s 58 counties. Since I was sworn in as CSAC’s President last month, everyone I have met and spoken with have all wished me well and asked “How can I help?” I’ve given that some thought, and I call on all of my colleagues and county leaders to get involved or stay involved with CSAC because we really are stronger when we stand together. 

Our 58 Counties are incredibly diverse. There are more than 10 million people living in Los Angeles County, and our least populated county, Alpine, has fewer than 1,200. That diversity is part of California’s beauty; and through CSAC, rural, suburban, and urban counties all have a seat at the table. There are many common issues impacting all counties and, through our Association, we speak with a louder, firmer and more respected voice on issues that matter to us, regardless of size or population.

So please get involved in one of CSAC’s policy committees or working groups, attend our meetings and workshops, and volunteer to represent California by being involved with the National Association of Counties (NACo).  Attend courses through our outstanding CSAC Institute or watch one of our monthly webinars. We welcome your participation and we need your expertise, experience and perspective to develop policies and priorities that reflect the diversity of our counties. It is also imperative that you, as elected officials, are at the table advocating on behalf of CSAC when requested with the state or federal government. Ask me or any of my fellow CSAC Officers, Board members or CSAC staff how to get more involved. 

The camaraderie and goodwill among our 58 counties truly is like having another family. We will have overarching priorities and many policies and issues to work on this year. We’ll carry the day on many and fall short on others, but if I can increase participation in our Association and see the future leaders of CSAC emerge through your engagement on issues, then our impact will be greater and my year as your President will be a success. Because of what you all do for counties, we really are One Family, 58 Strong!

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