2020 CSAC Challenge Awards
The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) invites you to enter our 2020 Challenge Awards competition.
These unique awards recognize the innovative and creative spirit of our California Counties as they find innovative, effective and cost-saving ways to provide programs and services to their citizens. This is a wonderful opportunity to spotlight your county’s best practices while recognizing staff for developing innovations in county government!
Please read the following instructions and consider entering your county’s programs/projects to win one or more of these statewide awards.
Entry Deadline: September 11, 2020
Entries Will Now Be Submitted Online
How to Enter Online
Entries will now be submitted online only – Saving you time and cost.
Please make sure that you completely fill out the entry fields and attached your executive summary before submitting. Payment can be made by credit card or you can select to pay later.
You will receive an email that your submission has been received.
- Once on our Member Portal page, click ‘Log in’ in the upper right corner
- If you don’t have or remember your log-in credentials:
- Select ‘Forgot username’ or ‘Forgot password’
- If you do not have an account select ‘Create a new account’
- Once you are logged in – select ‘Challenge Awards’ tab and then select ‘Entry’
CONSTRUCT YOUR “EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.” This is your statement of the challenge and the solution. Your Executive Summary is a critical part of your entry. It must be NO MORE THAN TWO 8 ½ BY 11 DOUBLE-SPACED PAGES. COPY SHOULD BE ONLY ON ONE SIDE AND BE NO SMALLER THAN 11 POINT. Please include contact information on the summary.
A Letter of Authorization to Enter is NOT needed this year.
Organizing Your Executive Summary
In reviewing your submission, judges will base their ratings on the following areas:
Overview – Provide a brief, 25-word summary of your program or project.
Challenge – Describe the challenge your county faced and the process used to address it. Explain the unique or critical factors that led to this project.
Solution – Describe the innovative steps taken by the county to solve the problem or overcome the challenge outlined above.
Innovation – Describe how this program is innovative among California Counties. Show how your solution demonstrates creativity, uniqueness and an innovative spirit.
Results – Describe the results of the program/project. Discuss how the program or project has positively impacted the community, improved delivery of services to the public, or improved administration of a program internally.
Replicability – Describe how your program can potentially be replicated by other California Counties. Can your program by promoted as a best practice that can be utilized by others?
Project or Program Contact – List the name, title, mailing address, phone and email address of the person who can be contacted about this program.
Optional Submission – If your project involved the development of a video, graphic design or PowerPoint, please include a link with your submission,
All entries must be placed in both a specific issue area category and population category. (CSAC reserves the right to move an entry to a different category.)
Administration of Justice & Public Safety – Includes programs associated with local law enforcement and public safety, adult and juvenile detention, and probation.
Agriculture, Environment & Natural Resources – Includes programs associated with agriculture, the environment, air quality, water, flood control, energy, parks and recreation, public lands, forestry, mining, endangered species, solid waste, and hazardous waste.
Government Finance, Administration & Technology – Includes programs associated with internal operations, employee training and wellness, workers’ compensation, public records, technology, economic development, libraries, elections, and food safety.
Health & Human Services – Includes programs associated with health care, mental health, homelessness, foster care, child welfare services, adult protective services, IHSS, general assistance, aging, CalWORKs, First 5 programs, county hospitals/medical facilities, the indigent, and veterans.
Housing, Land Use & Infrastructure – Includes programs associated with housing, land use, growth, planning, transportation, infrastructure, and tribal gaming issues.
Disaster/Emergency Response & Management – Includes any programs or services developed in response to recent disasters that have struck California Counties, such as wildfires, public power safety shutoffs or the COVID-19 pandemic.
Population categories reflect the three caucuses within CSAC: Rural, Suburban and Urban Counties. On your online entry form, please check which population category you are entering.
Rural – Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Mariposa, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Plumas, San Benito, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yuba.
Suburban – Butte, Imperial, Kern, Marin, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Placer, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tulare, Yolo.
Urban – Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Ventura.
A panel of county and private sector officials will evaluate the entries. Judges’ decisions are final. The following criteria will be used to select the award-winning programs:
- Statement of the challenge and solution.
- Innovation, resourcefulness, vision and uniqueness.
- Results, showing how the program has enhanced the community and/or organization.
- Potential replicability of the program/project.
- Conformance to application instructions as set forth in the “Entry Instructions” in this brochure.
Only programs that are developed, managed or funded by a county department or agency are eligible. Entries must be submitted by a county. Multi-county programs are eligible. Court-related programs must be coordinated or funded by a county.
An entry can only be submitted in one category; if a program is inter-departmental, please mark the category that best reflects the nature of that program.
Programs that have previously received a Challenge Award cannot be entered again; Merit Award recipients are eligible.
Judges will be looking for programs that are innovative, unique and replicable.
All Challenge Award entries will be considered for special awards at the judges’ discretion. These awards will not be subject to the population criteria outlined above.
All entries must be postmarked by September 11, 2020, to be considered. Mailed, faxed or emailed entries will not be accepted.
$75.00 per entry. Please pay online to request to be billed later. If you request to be billed later, please make sure that CSAC receives notification of which entry/entries you are paying for.
- Two levels of awards may be presented by CSAC in each category: Challenge and Merit Awards.
- Judges have the flexibility to offer an optional top-level award that crosses all population categories: The California Counties Innovation Award.
- Challenge Awards will be presented at a Board of Supervisors meeting in the recipient’s county. Merit Awards will be mailed unless the county is also receiving a Challenge Award; in that case, it would also be presented at the Board meeting.
- In the event that a multi-county application is honored, each county will receive an award.
- Award-winning recipients will be notified by email upon completion of judging.
- If you have any questions, contact David Liebler, CSAC Director of Public Affairs & Member Services, at 916/327-7500, ext. 530; email: email@example.com.