Civics 101 - Class of 202

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 program that provides an in-depth look at County programs, services and finances. Participants will primarily learn from and interact with department heads or their designees. The Fall 2022 program will run Tuesday evenings from Sep. 6 through Nov. 1. The content is being finalized, and will be similar to the Fall 2021 program shown below. You'll find the application at the bottom of this page. Due to space considerations, the class will be capped at 65 participants.

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!

Maybe you're simply interested in learning about the the workings of San Mateo County government, including the wide array of services and programs it provides to residents. Or like a number of past participants, maybe you'll be inspired to serve on one of the County's many boards and commissions, where volunteers like you work to advise the Board of Supervisors and help to 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 residents. 

The Fall 2022 Civics 101 Academy will run for nine consecutive Tuesday evenings, 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., from Sep. 6 through Nov. 1.
Location: 501 Winslow Street, Redwood City (the Regional Operations Center on the campus of County Government Center). 

(2022 content will be similar):


Session 1: County Government Overview 
County overview with Chief Communications Officer Michelle Durand; Department of Emergency Management.

Session 2: Human Services Agency 
HSA Overview, Children and Family Services, Collaborative Community Outcomes, Employment Services, Self-Sufficiency Services, Housing

Session 3Health
Covid-19 update, San Mateo Medical Center's response to COVID-19, Public Health Services, Health Information Technology.

Session 4Sheriff's Office
Sheriff's Office Overview; Community Activities, 9-1-1 (Public Safety Communications) presentation. NOTE: We will be outside on the plaza for about 40 minutes!

Session 5All About Money
Treasurer-Tax Collector, Controller, Budget and Budget Performance, Assessor and Elections. 

Session 6Community Services
Public Works, Library System, LAFCo

Session 7The Justice System
Judiciary, Probation, District Attorney, Private Defender. Includes mock trial!

Session 8Countywide Initiatives 
Office of Sustainability, Redistricting, Mosquito and Vector Control District, CERT

Session 9Graduation (and more!)
Supervisor David Canepa, Human Resources, County Attorney, completion certificates

Questions? Contact Eric Forgaard at