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February 2013

U.S. Communities – the Gold Standard for Cooperative Purchasing

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then U.S. Communities ought to be blushing. It was the first – and for a while the only – purchasing cooperative for local governments. Now, the field is crowded with wannabes that claim to save money and streamline purchasing for local governments. But seven key facts distinguish U.S. Communities from the others.

Untangling the Morass of the ACA

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act is a complex morass that will impact California’s 58 counties on wide variety of fronts – from budgetary to service delivery. For most county officials, there are currently more questions than answers.

The CSAC Institute for Excellence in County Government has spent the past two days trying to answer some of those questions through a course that is providing county officials with a balanced, fact-based discussion on how federal health care reform is being implemented in California and its effect on county health, mental health and social services.

The Inland Tsunami

As a kid living in Sonoma County, I remember being frightened by the once-rampant rumor that the next big earthquake would split the state at the San Andreas Fault and everything west of that geologic line would sink into the Pacific Ocean. Our five acres in Penngrove would suddenly be beach-front property. More recently, the [...]

Counties Shine in Sustainability Videos

San Diego, Sonoma and Yolo Counties shine as Supervisors and county staff spotlight their local sustainability activities in short videos produced by the Institute for Local Government.

The Noise of Democracy

The CSAC offices are located exactly one block north of the State Capitol, perfectly positioned to observe that hallmark of American democracy – the political rally. Many of them occur on the north steps of the Capitol—a long chip shot from the side door of the CSAC building. Today’s issue was health care – with those gathered arguing for a single-payer health care system in California.