By Brian Namey.

National County Government Month (NCGM), an annual celebration of county government that takes place each April, is just around the corner.  Since 1991, the National Association of Counties (NACo) has encouraged counties across the country to take this opportunity to actively promote county services and programs, shining a light on the important role we play in our communities. This year is notable because it’s the 25th anniversary of NCGM.

Each year, NCGM focuses on a different topic.  This year’s theme isSafe and Secure Counties, aligning with NACo’s 2015-2016 Presidential Initiative.

California’s counties are essential in keeping residents safe and secure by preserving public health and well-being, ensuring public safety and supporting local economies.  NCGM is a great opportunity to highlight effective county programs and raise public awareness about the services California counties provide.

A key focus of NCGM is educating residents—and engaging students specifically—on what counties do and how we work.  One way to teach students about the breadth of counties’ role is through the Counties Work game, a free interactive online game designed for students to learn about different county departments and responsibilities.  This April, encourage schools and teachers to use Counties Work to help design lessons about county government.

In February, we were pleased to see CSAC and 29 California counties at NACo’s Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. We focused on major federal policy issues that impact counties and our residents.  We also launched NACo’s new Counties Matter campaign, which includes helpful resources that you can use to promote county programs during NCGM.  A national brochure, a video that emphasizes counties’ significance across the nation and other resources are available here.

For more ideas about celebrating NCGM, check out NACo’s NCGM page.  The page includes ideas for engaging the public and contains resources such as a template news release, a poster you can download and customize, a sample NCGM proclamation and the full 2016 NCGM toolkit.

If you have any questions about celebrating NCGM in California, contact CSAC Director of Public Affairs & Member Services David Liebler or NACo’s Director of Public Affairs Brian Namey.

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Originally posted at the California State Association of Counties.