The California Special Districts Association (CSDA) has released two tools aimed at a wide array of audiences to help raise awareness and understanding of what is dubbed the most local and specialized form of local government—special districts. They include a free downloadable 16-page educational brochure about special districts and a three-minute video entitled “Special Districts 101.”
These publicly available tools bring alive the essential services provided by special districts, such as: fire protection, water, utilities, sanitation, parks and recreation, libraries, health services, and even mosquito abatement and cemeteries. They address how the public forms a special district, how it is funded and governed, and most importantly, the profound impact special districts make on the daily lives of every Californian.
The new special districts brochure and video are concise, straight-forward resources aimed at anyone who wishes to better understand their local government, from the teenager hearing of a special district for the first time in a civics class, to a resident. These are also useful tools for advocates, leadership in local government, and special districts who need help explaining these highly-specialized but often under-recognized agencies in public forums or advocacy efforts.
“California’s 2,000 special districts are local service specialists,” said CSDA Chief Executive Officer, Neil McCormick. “Special districts are community formed and community owned to provide constituents with essential services on a daily basis. We developed these informational tools in an effort to promote transparency as well as educate and equip the public who ultimately oversee and govern the special districts serving their families and businesses.”
The brochure and video are being released to local government partners’ associations, news media, online educational platforms, and providers who may reach youth, but typically get limited information about local government, especially special districts, in their civics curriculum.
Additional videos will follow focusing in on various aspects of special districts. School administrators, curriculum planners, and counselors may be particularly interested in a coming video that explores the wide range of satisfying public service professions that students can pursue in the special districts world: scientists, engineers, health care providers, technology experts, librarians, biologists, hydrologists and physical education specialists are just a short list of the experts sought by special districts that offer stable, satisfying careers.
These resource materials and more can be found at csda.net/learn-about.