California’s Counties Well Represented at NACo 2019
July 18, 2019
“It’s about empowering the voice of California Counties.”
A delegation of more than 160 county officials, including all four CSAC officers and 65 county supervisors representing 40 California counties attended the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual meeting in Clark County, Nevada this week, where San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox completed his tenure as NACo President.
“With 3,000 attendees, four featured speakers and seemingly countless policy committee meetings and workshops, the NACo annual meeting presented a perfect opportunity for networking and education,” said CSAC President and Humboldt County Supervisor Virginia Bass. “I am extremely proud to see our great state so well represented among the panelists, moderators and attendees who contributed to this amazing convening of counties.”
In a nod to Supervisor Cox’s presidential theme of Connecting the Unconnected, broadband was a major topic of discussion for the Rural Action Caucus meeting, attended by Supervisor Bass. The Large Urban County Caucus, including CSAC First Vice President and Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, heard from Scott Turner, Executive Director of the White House Opportunity & Revitalization Council. Dozens of California county supervisors attended these events, in addition to a number of other committee meetings in various policy areas.
CSAC Second Vice President and Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore was a panelist for the Resilient Counties luncheon, “Developing New Partnerships in National-Regional Water Resiliency and Innovation” as well as the two Disaster Management Symposiums presented as part of the conference. Supervisor Gore chairs the NACo Resilient Counties Advisory Board and shared the recommendations of being prepared to work with FEMA ahead of time and “waking up” residents who aren’t complying with preventative measure with attendees.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas moderated a “County Talk” on economic development entitled “Retooling for Job Creation: Case Study on the Bioscience Sector.” The common thread throughout the discussion was LA County’s asset-based approach: taking inventory of assets – whether real estate, intellectual property, or geography – and leveraging them for economic development and strong regional job growth. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas was also a panelist for the Healthy Counties Advisory Board Meeting, sharing his experiences to improve health equity at the local level.
“The NACo conference is about purpose, about empowering the voice of California Counties” said Graham Knaus, CSAC Executive Director. “It’s about sharing innovation, strengthening our partnerships and ensuring that the voice of California’s diverse counties continues to shape the national dialogue.”
Another Sonoma County Supervisor, Shirlee Zane, participated in a “Solutions Session” panel called “How Counties are Changing Lives Today” which focused on how Sonoma, San Diego and Washoe (NV) counties are transforming service delivery and improving client outcomes by applying the right technology and enable a person centered approach to care.
Mono County Supervisor Bob Gardner participated on a government and private-sector panel discussion of the “Economic Impact of Outdoor Recreation.” Acknowledging the millions of Americans employed in outdoor recreation and the billions of dollars generated annually, this panel focused on the future outlook and how counties can support a recreation economy.
County officials were not the only ones on the spot during the conference, as Graham Knaus moderated a noteworthy discussion about FOSTER after NACo members watched a 20-minute preview of the film during NACo’s Human Services & Education Policy Steering Committee Joint Subcommittees meeting.
To learn more about specific workshops or policy committee meetings, or view videos of conference sessions, please visit the NACo website.