Have questions about local government? Want to learn from department heads and other county leaders? Then Civics 101 is for you!


Next course: Wednesday evenings from mid-Sep. to mid-Nov. 2019

Civics 101 is a free, nine-week program that provides participants with an in-depth look at County programs, services and finances. Participants are exposed to the workings of County government, primarily via presentations by department heads. There are brief Q&As after each presentation. Schedule below.

Civics 101 is also an opportunity for us to learn from you. What are your priorities for improving the quality of life for all on the Peninsula? What do you care about? What are your ideas? We want to know. We will also encourage graduates to serve on one of the County's many boards and commissions, where volunteers like you work to improve our community!

The program runs Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., from mid-September to mid-November. The home base is Board Chambers in the Hall of Justice and Records building at 400 County Center in Redwood City, but as you can see from the schedule below we meet in a variety of county locations. Refreshments are provided before each meeting.

The program includes a two-hour, ranger-led light hike at Edgewood Park in Redwood City on a Saturday, at which we'll learn about that park and the system in general.



All sessions are held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted

September 12: County Overview (Board of Supervisors Chambers, 400 County Center, Redwood City)
County Manager John Maltbie,Chief Communications Officer Michelle Durand, Legislative Aide Randy Torrijos, class introductions

September 19: Human Services Agency (400 Harbor Blvd. Building B, Belmont)
HSA Overview, Children and Family Services, Collaborative Community Outcomes, Employment Services, Self-Sufficiency Services, Housing

September 26Countywide Initiatives (Board of Supervisors Chambers, 400 County Center, Redwood City)
Office of Sustainability, Measure K, Open Data, Public Works Director Jim Porter

October 3: THIS CLASS STARTS EARLY, AT 5:50 P.M.! Sheriff's Office (Board of Supervisors Chambers400 County Center, Redwood City)
Sheriff's Office Overview, K-9 demonstration, Office of Emergency Services, Community Activities, tour of Public Safety Dispatch (9-1-1 center). NOTE: We will be outside on the plaza for about an hour!

October 10: The Justice System (400 County Center, 2nd floor, Courtroom 2A)
Judiciary, Probation, District Attorney, Private Defender. Includes mock trial!

October 17: Health (San Mateo Medical Center, 222 West 39th St., San Mateo). Park in large rear lot (ENTRANCE ON 37TH AVENUE), use West Entrance to the medical center and follow signs to the second floor classroom).
Health System Overview, tour of Medical Center

* OCTOBER 20 (SATURDAY), 10 a.m. to noon -- Park System: Ranger-led hike: (Edgewood Park, Redwood City)
Light hike, Park System mission and activities, info about native plants, endangered species and volunteer work
DO NOT USE THE MAIN PARK ENTRANCE!! Meet near the corner of Edgewood Rd. and Canada Rd., at the Edgewood trailhead. Parking available just off the side of the road.

October 24: All about Money (Assessors Office, 1st floor, 555 County Center, Redwood City)
Treasurer-Tax Collector, Assessor and Elections, Controller, Budget Performance



November 7: Community Services  (Belmont Library, 1110 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont)
Library System, Belmont Library tour, Planning and Building, LAFCo

November 14: Graduation (and more!) (Board of Supervisors Chambers, 400 County Center, Redwood City)
Board of Supervisors President Dave Pine, Human Resources, County Counsel, Boards and Commissions, and graduation!

Questions? Contact Eric Forgaard at eforgaard@smcgov.org or 650-363-4657.