“California Counties: 38 Million Served” – that’s been a message that CSAC has been spreading for the past year.

Every California resident lives in a county. Our 58 counties are California. The role that counties play in our every day lives is immeasurable and complex; and it’s a role that few Californians truly understand. That’s why CSAC and our 58 counties are looking to tell their story during National County Government Month, which starts today.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) promotes this month each year to raise public awareness and understanding about the roles and responsibilities of county government in our communities. As California faces an ongoing budget crisis with potential drastic program cuts looming, the need to tell the “county story” takes on a sense of urgency.

CSAC will be focusing our education efforts on the week of April 19-23. Each day we will spotlight a different area of county services. This week will be highlighted by the presentation of an Assembly Resolution, authored by former CSAC President and current Assembly Member Connie Conway, on April 22. CSAC President Tony Oliviera and NACo President and Sonoma County Supervisor Valerie Brown will be on hand to accept the resolution. We are urging California counties to adopt similar resolutions, and many already have done so.

Our mission to educate, though, must extend beyond April. We must continue to get the word out about the valuable role that counties play in our every day lives. We must tell the media, the public and even our state legislators that reduction in funding will mean reduction in vital services to the people that often need them the most. Program cuts impact not just a few, but directly or indirectly affect Californians throughout the state.

Read more from “The County Voice,” news and views from the California State Association of Counties.