Each year, CSAC recognizes some of the most innovative and cost-effective programs in our 58 counties. The platform is our annual Challenge Awards program, which has grown significantly since it was launched in the early 1990s. 

The innovative programs honored by the Challenge Awards run the gamut of county services. Take a look at 2010: From a private-attorney partnership program in Orange County to emancipated foster youth housing and job programs in Tuolumne and Alameda; from an educational career ladder in Calaveras to a cost-effective bridge construction in Sonoma  County… last year, CSAC recognized 14 programs developed by 10 counties. 

It’s our goal to promote these honored programs as much as possible through the Challenge Awards. Summaries are posted on our Website and in a published directory; presentations are made at boards of supervisors meetings; news releases are distributed to local media. And this past year, we developed videos and wrote descriptive blog postings to spotlight the award-winning programs as part of National County Government Month. It’s valuable for counties to learn about programs in place in other parts of the state; and it’s important for the public, state elected leaders and media to see what vital work our 58 counties are doing. 

We urge you to take the time to enter the 2011 Challenge Awards and tell us about the innovative, cost-effective programs your county has developed and put into action. We know you are busy, but we just need a two-page summary. And since awards are presented in four population categories, Alpine County has as great a chance of being recognized as Los Angeles County. 

Last year we received nearly 250 entries from counties throughout the state. We hope the number climbs this year. 

The deadline to enter is June 30. A copy of the Call for Entries can be found here. If you have questions, just give us a call or email me at dliebler@counties.org. We look forward to learning about your creative work.

About David Liebler:
David Liebler is the Director of Public Affairs and Member Services for the California State Association of Counties. He can be reached at dliebler.at.counties.org.