California Forward (CA Fwd) engaged with county leaders last week at the annual California State Association of Counties (CSAC) conference in Riverside.
County leaders came together to discuss the best solutions for tackling the major issues facing our state, including late budgets, a monstrous deficit, high unemployment, and gridlock in Sacramento. CA Fwd has worked tirelessly on these issues and welcomed the opportunity to advance the conversation.
CSAC’s outgoing President Tony Oliveira, also Kings County Supervisor, told attendees, “For good or for bad, we are at the forefront of a new era in public policy. As local government leaders, we must work together to ensure that this new era properly serves the 38 million Californians we represent.”
“Your presence will enhance the County Voice to ensure that it is being heard loud and clear,” Oliveira said. This “meeting will provide you with the latest information on vital issues and valuable tools to assist you in your responsibilities back home.”
Incoming president John Tavaglione, also a Riverside County supervisor, discussed the importance of bringing decision-making back to the local level.
Day in and day out, our members see the growing need for local services that residents deserve,” Tavaglione said. “The association’s role in protecting those residents has grown dramatically as state budget problems have worsened.”
John Maltbie, policy consultant for CA Fwd, attended a session on the State Budget to hear Craig Cornett, State Senate Budget Committee, speak. Cornett said restructuring must be part of the state’s budget solution this year. County officials also discussed the desirability of block grants, to provide counties more discretion in managing shared service programs.
Later, Maltbie spoke with Cornett about CA Fwd’s work on recidivism and health and human service block granting, saying “Cornett seemed interested in pursuing both of these ideas in the coming year.”
Also in attendance from CA Fwd were policy director Richard Raya, partnership coordinator Kristin Connelly, and communications associate Armando Botello II.
The 116th annual CSAC conference lasted from Nov. 16-18.
The association advocates for the state’s 58 counties in meetings with state lawmakers and congressional representatives. It has existed since 1895, about 45 years after California achieved statehood.
Gina Baleria is the communications manager at California Forward and Armando Botello II is a communications associate.