The Institute’s “Emerging Issues” Series

The Emerging Issues series of courses explores trends in major long-term policy issues. Each of these classes provides county decision-makers with an opportunity to explore emerging trends and issues with colleagues and experts in the field. Brief presentations examine various facets of the issue and allow ample opportunity for policy-level discussions. The conversations look at interrelationships among the facets along with the resources, capacity and authority available for counties to work toward solutions. Options are discussed along with opportunities and barriers, and the types and consequences to policy decisions counties may need to address for sustainable solutions.

Classes engage participants with subject experts in a conversation about the emerging issues: what is known, unclear, and presumed; current and potential impacts on counties; county authority or opportunity for involvement; hear mini-case studies; and share perspectives and insights. Outcomes include a summary brief on What We Learned and What We Think Needs to Happen.

The “Emerging Issues” series includes the following courses:

The Future is Already Here: Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

Self-driving cars are finally here; how they are deployed will change how we get around forever
November 9, 2018 - 10:00AM - 3:30PM (Sacramento Campus)

The technology necessary to deploy autonomous and connected vehicles is no longer a prediction of the future. There are currently 10 automated vehicle testing grounds in the U.S., two of which are in California. The implications of this technology are far-reaching and can be both beneficial and potentially disruptive to mobility, the economy and overall quality of life. Other economic advancements such as transportation network companies may have compounding effects on the implications of this rapidly-changing technology. The discussion will provide insights on connected and autonomous vehicles and the range of potential local policy implications, and will facilitate a conversation about what this means for counties.

Facilitators: Kiana Valentine, CSAC Senior Legislative Representative, and policy experts from around the state.

Connected and Autonomous Vehicles - November, 2018
Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Conversation Notes
Slides - Three Revolutions: Steering Automated, Shared, and Electric Vehicles to a Better Future (Mollie D’Agostino – UC Davis)
Slides - Autonomous Vehicles in California (Miguel Acosta – DMV)
Slides - Status of Testing and Deployment of Automated Vehicles (Jack Hall – Contra Costa Transportation Authority)
Report - Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0 U.S. Department of Transportation, October, 2018


The Crisis of Housing

Solutions to increase affordability and availability of housing
March 22, 2018 - 10:00AM - 3:30PM (Sacramento Campus)

California has reached a crisis point regarding both the availability of housing and its affordability. The average price of a home in the state is two‐and‐a‐half times the average national price and rents are fifty percent higher than the rest of the country. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, major changes to local government land use authority, local finance, CEQA, and other major polices are likely necessary to address California’s high housing costs and limited availability. This course will focus on statewide and locally-driven policy solutions emerging through legislation and local policy changes, as well as case studies.

The Housing Affordability Crisis – March, 2018


The Sharing Economy

January 26, 2017 - 10:00AM - 3:30PM (Sacramento Campus)

The CSAC Institute for Excellence in County Government will hold the next course in its ongoing “Emerging Issues ” series on Thursday, January 26, in Sacramento, The focus: “The Sharing Economy,” specifically online short-term vacation rentals.

While residential properties offered through online rental platforms look very different than a more easily recognized hotel or motel, these short term rentals create the same impact on local services, including emergency response, public safety, and street and road needs.

  • They are often found outside of commercial areas or places permitting commercial activity
  • There are many challenges with collecting transient occupancy tax which can prove to be a drain on an important local revenue source

This Emerging Issues seminar will feature county practitioners, tax experts, local government legal experts, and others who will provide valuable insight and share their techniques to approach the emerging era of the sharing economy. And because this is part of the Emerging Issues series from CSAC Institute, there will be ample opportunity to discuss your county’s situation, learn from colleagues, and brainstorm on immediate and long-term solutions.

CSAC has been actively engaged in state-level policy discussions on regulating online short-term vacation rental platforms, including collection of transient occupancy tax and upholding local health and safety ordinances. This seminar will help inform upcoming legislative discussions.

The Sharing Economy: Short-Term Vacation Rentals – January, 2017


Evidence-Based Results

Getting results from new practices in criminal justice and rehabilitation
November 17, 2016 - 10:00AM - 3:30PM

These unique classes provide county decision-makers with an opportunity to explore emerging trends and issues with colleagues and experts in the field. This session will examine research from the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative. Since 2013 Pew has been working with select California counties who have been using evidence-based policymaking to meet the challenges of the state’s landmark criminal justice reform effort – 2011 realignment. The class will examine case studies from counties, research, and share customized tools developed through the Initiative. The class provides a forum for in-depth conversations amongst participants on their experiences and opportunities.

Evidence-Based Practices – November, 2016


Homelessness in California Counties

April 14, 2016 (Sacramento Campus)

Homelessness has proven to be an enduring and complex modern problem which crosses many disciplines, populations, and boundaries. Homelessness does not respect political boundaries in counties and cities, and responsibilities cross and intersect with many county and city departments, and even state and federal agencies, such as the VA. Within counties, the issue intersects with the public safety, social services, public health, behavioral health, even the public works department. Yet a number of counties are taking on homelessness through a variety of collaborative approaches – both in policy and practice. This class will engage participants to explore many facets of homelessness, from decriminalization to treatment of root causes to prevention, and how counties are thinking about policies and collaborative programs to address it. Several case studies will be examined.

Homelessness in Our Communities – April, 2016


Long-Term Impacts of the Drought

November 30, 2015 (Monterey, preceding the CSAC Annual Meeting)

The extensiveness and duration of the drought is posing long-term policy decisions for counties related to land use, economic development, and human services. The conversation will explore how State and local policy decisions could have long term impacts on agriculture and ranching; sale or transfers of ag water to urban uses; loss or conversion of ag lands; and how drought-caused changes may impact the food availability. The broader economic and employment impacts to communities and to county human services programs will also be discussed. Local perspectives beyond the immediate water shortages will be examined to assess the potential consequences and responses to of these and other drought-related impacts.

Facilitators: Napa County Supervisor Diane Dillon and San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson.

Long-Term Impacts of the Drought – November, 2015
Long-Term Impact of the Drought Conversation Notes
Slides - Understanding the Drought from Samuel Sandoval, Ph.D.
Article – Future of San Joaquin Unincorporated Communities in the Drought – A Three-Part Series of Articles from The Atlantic CityLab


Fostering Collaborative Mental Health and Public Safety Services

October 23, 2015 (Sacramento Campus)

Counties recognize the interrelationships of untreated mental illness with enduring community challenges such as homelessness, crime, substance abuse, recidivism, child protection, education and overall community health. The conversation will explore jail diversion programs, access to mental health programs in jail and justice populations, outcomes from collaborative courts, increasing access, enrollment and participation in treatment programs, mental health services for veterans; implementation and effectiveness of Laura’s Law and the Mentally Ill Offended Crime Reduction grants; decreasing juvenile dependency on county services; managing mental health crises in the county; and intersections between mental health services and Proposition 47.

The focus is on how to foster access and expand capacity of mental health and law enforcement services in the county to address root causes of the challenges faced by the community.

Facilitator:
San Diego Supervisor Dave Roberts and former Marin County Supervisor Dr. Susan Adams

Fostering Collaborative Mental Health and Public Safety Services – October, 2015


Protecting Children in Our Community

September 10, 2015 (Sacramento Campus)

Counties have the responsibility for protecting children who have suffered from abuse or neglect. New challenges in child welfare and safety are emerging which affect all counties. Among the topics to be examined: human trafficking of children and the impacts both in urban and rural areas and the corridors traveled by traffickers; addressing the needs of older children as they transition from the foster care system and those who have run away from the system; efforts to reform group home and foster family agency rates and services provided to foster and probation youth; system and services provided to foster and probation youth; and efforts by the justice and law enforcement systems to work with child welfare services to divert children from the criminal justice system and break the cycle of involvement with county systems.

Facilitators: Yolo County Supervisor Matt Rexroad and Ventura Supervisor Kathy Long.

Protecting Children in Our Communities – September, 2015