Advocacy Information

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Policy Team and Issue Areas


Kyle Packham
Advocacy & Public Affairs Director

Dillon Gibbons
Senior Legislative Representative

  • Human Resources & Personnel
  • Governance
  • Health & Safety

Anthony Tannehill
Legislative Representative

  • Revenue
  • Formation & Reorganization
  • Community Enrichment

Rylan Gervase
Legislative Representative

  • Environment
  • Public Works & Facilities
  • Parks and Open Space
  • Transportation
  • Water & Wastewater

Colleen Haley
Public Affairs Field Coordinator

Steven Nascimento
Public Affairs Field Coordinator

Chris Palmer
Public Affairs Field Coordinator

Dane Wadlé
Public Affairs Field Coordinator

Mustafa Hessabi
Legislative Analyst

Marcus Detwiler
Legislative Assistant

Policy Principles

CSDA’s policy principles represent the core values and beliefs the members of the association share regarding public policy issues impacting special districts and the vital services and infrastructure they provide to California’s communities.

Policy principles are intended to guide CSDA legislative advocates in their efforts to best represent special districts. These principles or pertinent parts therefore may also be shared with appropriate parties and further refined into detailed memos or position letters as needed, in order to outline CSDA’s position on a given policy matter.

As issues arise and change, CSDA will update its library of policy principles. Principles may be amended, added or deleted upon approval by the CSDA Board of Directors following a recommendation of the CSDA Legislative Committee.

CSDA’s Policy Principles (PDF Download)

gavelGuidelines: Adopting Positions on Legislation and Propositions

CSDA is the leading advocacy voice for all special districts on public policy. The CSDA Legislative Committee plays a key role in establishing priorities and positions on legislation introduced each legislative session, as well as making recommendations to the CSDA Board of Directors on statewide propositions.

The process for legislation:

1. Newly introduced legislation is reviewed by CSDA’s Legislative Department as it is introduced, and bills of note are tagged and presented to the Committee with a staff recommendation. Committee members may bring additional bills that they think are relevant to the Committee for consideration.

2. The Committee decides whether to adopt a position on the bill (or not take a position), and assigns a priority. (See list of formal positions below.) All Committee decisions are determined by a majority of members present once a quorum of the committee has been established.

3. These positions and priorities may change throughout the year, depending on circumstances such as amendments taken to bills. The Committee is updated on the status of bills, and decides whether to change the position and priority.

4. In time sensitive situations, CSDA Legislative Department staff may take a position or change a current position on a piece of legislation with the approval of the CSDA Executive Director. The Committee shall be updated with the position as soon as possible. Such positions shall only be taken when necessary due to urgent circumstances and insufficient opportunity to obtain a formal vote of the Committee. The Board of Directors shall be notified of any change in positions.

5. If a bill is particularly controversial and the Committee cannot come to a conclusion, the CSDA Board of Directors will make the final decision.

The process for propositions:

1. Propositions of interest are brought to the Committee’s attention by the Legislative Department or by members of the Committee or Board of Directors. The Legislative Committee reviews the proposition and makes a recommendation to support or oppose it (or not take a position at all).

2. The Board of Directors makes the final decision on what position to take on the proposition, taking into consideration the Legislative Committee’s recommendation.

Formal positions:

Support: A position given to bills and propositions that the Legislative Committee believes would benefit special districts in one way or another, or is a good public policy.

Oppose: A position given to bills and propositions that the Legislative Committee believes would be a detriment to special districts in some way.

Neutral: A position given to bills that have been sufficiently amended to remove CSDA’s support or opposition.

Watch: A position given to bills that special districts have an interest in, but do not directly affect districts; bills that are in spot bill form but are on a subject area that concerns special districts; bills that are of interest to track, but do not warrant a position.

Priority 1: Bills given a 1 priority have major importance and a direct impact on special districts statewide. These bills receive comprehensive advocacy by the Legislative Department and contract lobbyist. This may include extensive testimony in committee, lobbying of the Legislature, and grassroots mobilization, as appropriate.

Priority 2: Bills given a 2 priority have a significant impact on the special district community, set a critical precedent that is relevant to all special districts and/or have major importance to a CSDA member or group of members and are not harmful to other groups of special districts. Position letters are sent from CSDA and testimony is given in committee as time permits.

Priority 3: Bills given a 3 priority have a substantive effect on special districts, but are determined to be a low priority for CSDA resources. CSDA will not write a position letter on these bills, but may sign on to a coalition letter. Neither committee testimony nor lobbying of the Legislature will be conducted, except in rare circumstances at staff’s discretion.







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