The County Voice

Annual Meeting: Be the Change

Become the change you want to see – that was a common theme among the two speakers who highlighted this morning’s General Session. CSAC 1st Vice President and Yolo County Supervisor Mike McGowan set the stage when he told the packed house that in 2012, “there is an opportunity for us to make change and seize the day. Our chances for success lie within ourselves. … We can be great if we want to be.” 

Robert Joss, former Dean of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, talked about how leadership means playing a role in changing an organization for the better. “Leadership is not a science, it’s an art – a performing art,” he told the county leaders. “And you are the instrument.” 

Change was on everyone’s mind when they listened to the next featured speaker: Ben Rattray. Ben is the founder and CEO of, a growing social network for nonprofits, political campaigns and engaged citizens around the world. He described how the Internet is becoming a key component in civic engagement – and is making a difference. “We are about to see the most fundamental change in 50 years of civic participation. … The barriers people previously had to organization are gone. … This is not going away. It’s going to grow.” 

Change was also a theme in a standing-room-only workshop, “Realignment 2011: Everything Changes.” Panelists explored elements of the 2011 Public Safety Services Realignment and discussed short- and long-term implementation issues. Realignment will also be a major discussion point at tomorrow’s CSAC Board of Directors meeting.

CSAC looks forward to promoting and carrying out positive change within county governments throughout California.


San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar presented a proclamation at Tuesday’s Kick-Off Session declaring the week of November 28 through December 2 as “CSAC Week.”

 The proclamation reads, in part, “Whereas, in the spirit of this year’s conference theme, ‘A Bridge to Reform,’ San Francisco is proud to join in the discussions that will bring progress to a diverse range of state issues, including corrections reform, health and human services reform, pension reform and fiscal reform.”

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