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, nine-week program that meets one Tuesday evening per week from 6 to 8:30 p.m. 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 for reference.

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 consider serving 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!

If you would like to be placed on the list for the Fall 2022 Civics 101 Academy, please email Eric Forgaard with the County Executive's Office at

(For reference only; 2022 content and meeting dates will be similar. Sessions run from 6 - 8:30 p.m.)


Aug. 31: County Government Overview 
County Manager Mike Callagy, Chief Communications Officer Michelle Durand, Department of Emergency Management Director 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 from Sheriff Carlos Bolanos; K-9 demonstration; Community Activities, 9-1-1 (Public Safety Communications) presentation. NOTE: We will be outside on the plaza for about 40 minutes!

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

Oct. 5Community Services
Public Works, Library System, LAFCo

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

Oct. 19Countywide Initiatives 
Office of Sustainability, Redistricting, Mosquito and Vector Control District, CERT

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

Questions? Contact Eric Forgaard at