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December 23, 2011 > Residents Academy Program

Residents Academy Program

Submitted By Gwendolyn Mitchell

The County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the creation of a new informational program based on the model of Citizens Academies across the country. The purpose of the program is to raise public awareness of County government roles and services, promote civic engagement and residents' participation in County governance, and provide answers to basic questions that residents need to know.

County of Santa Clara Government 101 is designed as a ten-week course with a range of topics, including: Know Your County which describes how the County is organized, what is its mission and key mandates; All About Taxes where the comes from and where it goes; Keeping the Community Safe which will include a tour of a correctional facility; Justice at Work covering the District Attorney and Public Defender roles and tour of the state of the art Crime Lab; Supporting Community which focuses on County's roles in caring for children, seniors and families in need; Protecting Environment and Consumers; 24/7 Community Service such as Fire, Roads, and 911 center; Healthy Communities features award winning medical and health care programs; Get Involved will cover opportunities to volunteer or serve in advisory roles; and finally The End of the Road and Graduation.

"SCCGov 101 is a great opportunity for residents who want to know more about what we do at the County," said Supervisor Liz Kniss, District 5, who championed the program. "I suspect that there will be more demand than seats available."

The 10-week program will take place on Tuesday evenings, for 2.5 hours. One half-day session will be held on a Saturday. The Board also conceptually approved a nominal fee to cover materials cost, with a waiver for hardship and asked staff to explore creating a telecast of the sessions, so that more people will be able to participate.

Details for the application process will be posted on the County website www.sccgov.org.

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