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January 3, 2012 > County to offer SCCGov 101 residents academy program

County to offer SCCGov 101 residents academy program

10-week class to start in late-January 2012

Submitted By Gwendolyn Mitchell and Lingxia Meng

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

County of Santa Clara Government 101 is a 10-week course with a range of topics, including "Know Your County" which describes how the County is organized, its mission and key mandates; "All About Taxes" where revenue comes from and where it goes; "Keeping the Community Safe" which will include a tour of a correctional facility; "Justice at Work" covers the District Attorney and Public Defender roles and offers a tour of the state of the art Crime Lab; "Supporting Community" which focuses on the 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 superb 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 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 has also conceptually approved a nominal fee to cover the cost of materials, with a waiver for hardship, and asked staff to explore telecasts of the sessions, so that more people can participate.

For details of the application process, visit

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