Civics 101 Academy

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

The Civics 101 Academy is a free, nine-week program that meets one evening per week and provides participants with an in-depth look at County programs, services and finances. Participants are exposed to the workings of the San Mateo County government, primarily via presentations by department heads. There are brief Q&As after each presentation. Please see the Fall 2021 program below.

Maybe you're simply interested in learning about the the workings of our county government, including the wide array of services it provides to residents. Or like many past participants, maybe you'll choose to move on to serve on one of the County's many boards and commissions, where volunteers like you work to advise the Board of Supervisors and improve our community! Or who knows, maybe your civic-mindedness will spur you to seek local elected office someday or join the amazing team of dedicated County government employees that serve our community. 

Civics 101 is also an opportunity for us to hear your perspective and 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!

The 2021 Civics 101 Academy is being held Tuesday evenings from Aug. 31 through Oct. 26 at the Regional Operations Center at 501 Winslow Street in Redwood City. Sessions run from 6 - 8:30 p.m.
There is free parking on the first floor of the five-level County Government Center parking garage near the corner of Veterans Blvd. and Middlefield Rd. (entrance on MIddlefield, take first left into the garage).  We abide by local indoor masking rules.


Aug. 31: County Overview 
County Manager Mike Callagy, Chief Communications Officer Michelle Durand, Director of the Office of Emergency Services Dan Belville, class introductions.

Sep. 7: Human Services Agency 
HSA Overview, Children and Family Services, Collaborative Community Outcomes, Employment Services, Self-Sufficiency Services, Housing

Sep. 14Health
Covid-19 update, San Mateo Medical Center's response to COVID-19, Public Health Services, Health Information Technology.

Sep. 21Sheriff's Office
Sheriff's Office Overview, K-9 demonstration, Community Activities. NOTE: We will be outside on the plaza for about 40 minutes!

Sep. 28All About Money
Treasurer-Tax Collector, Assessor and Elections, Controller, Budget and Budget Performance

Oct. 2: Jail Tour
SPECIAL SATURDAY SESSION, 10 a.m. to noon: BONUS EVENT FOR THOSE WHO FILL OUT THE PAPERWORK: Tour of the Maple Street Correctional Center at 1300 Maple Street in Redwood City. 

Oct. 5Community Services
Public Works, Library System, Planning and Building, LAFCo

Oct. 12The Justice System
Judiciary, Probation, District Attorney, Private Defender. Includes mock trial!

Oct. 19Countywide Initiatives 
Office of Sustainability, Measure K, Mosquito and Vector Control District

Oct. 26Graduation (and more!)
Board President David Canepa, Human Resources, County Counsel and graduation!

Questions? Contact Eric Forgaard at
COVID-19 Info
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