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

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.

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 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 last year's 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 a county park on a Saturday morning, at which we learn about that park and the system in general.

Please see the schedule and materials below to get a sense of what the program traditionally includes. If you'd like to attend the 2018 session, please contact Eric Forgaard at eforgaard@smcgov.org. Applications will be available in August, 2018.


FOR REFERENCE ONLY: 2017 Schedule 

September 13: County Overview (Board Chambers, 400 County Center, Redwood City)
County Manager John Maltbie, Communications Chief Michelle Durand, Senior Legislative Aide Chris Hunter

September 20: Countywide Initiatives (Board Chambers, 400 County Center, Redwood City)
Office of Sustainability, Prop. 64, Measure K, Open Data

September 27: Health System (San Mateo Medical Center, 222 West 39th St., San Mateo. Park in large rear lot (ENTRANCE ON 37TH AVENUE), use West Entrance to SMMC and follow signs to the second floor classroom)
Health System Overview, tour of Medical Center

October 4: NOTE: This class starts early, at 5:50 p.m.! Sheriff's Office (Board Chambers, 400 County Center--and outside on plaza)
Sheriff's Office Overview, K-9 demonstration, SWAT, Office of Emergency Services, Public Safety Dispatch (9-1-1 center)


October 18: Human Services Agency (400 Harbor Blvd., Building B, Belmont)
HSA Overview, Children and Family Services, Collaborative Community Outcomes, Employment Services, Self-Sufficiency Services, Housing

* OCTOBER 21 (Saturday): Park System: Ranger-led Hike (Edgewood Park, Redwood City. Meet at the corner of Edgewood Rd. and Canada Rd.)*
Light hike, Park System mission and activities, info about native grasses, endangered species, and volunteer work

October 25: All About Money (555 County Center, Redwood City)
Treasurer-Tax Collector, Assessor and Elections, Controller, Budget Performance

November 1: The Justice System (400 County Center, 2nd floor, Courtroom 2A)
Judiciary, Probation, District Attorney, Private Defender

November 8: Community Services (Belmont Library, 1110 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont)
Public Works, Planning and Building, LAFCO, Libraries, Belmont Library tour

November 15: Graduation (and more!)
Board of Supervisors President Don Horsley, Human Resources, County Counsel, Boards and Commissions, graduation (Board Chambers, 400 County Center, Redwood City)

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

2017 class materials: