What is the National Special Districts Coalition?
The National Special Districts Coalition is the only national organization representing and advocating for all special districts at a national level.
Organized in 2018, a group of five state special districts associations in California, Colorado, Florida, Oregon, and Utah established a memorandum of understanding aimed to share resources, best practices, and openly network to identify solutions to common problems for special districts across state lines.
Since, the Coalition has expanded its mission to include federal advocacy for special districts receive equitable access to critical programs available to local governments; ensuring Coalition members and their special districts have access to reputable, reliable federal grants resources and services; and sponsors the national "Districts Make the Difference" campaign to promote awareness and understanding of special district services across the country.
NSDC consists of associations, organizations, and businesses each representing and supporting special districts across the country. Uniting special districts and stakeholders as one voice, NSDC fosters strong national collaboration to strengthen and advance essential community service enhancing American communities’ quality of life.
State Association Regular Membership & Coalition Development
The Coalition's Regular Members represent special districts providing all types of services to their communities in their states. NSDC’s membership is regionally diverse with regular state membership in California, Colorado, Florida, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming.
The Coalition is governed by its Regular Executive Members, which have been NSDC Regular Members for no less than two years. Regular Members are eligible for representation on NSDC's Legislative Committee, direct representation on Coalition policy and issue working groups, and holds voting power on Coalition matters.
As of January 2024, special districts have organized associations representing all types of special districts, similar to state associations for cities and counties, in only eight states - including all NSDC Regular Member states as well as Pennsylvania. Special districts in these states have access to robust resources for accountable and transparent governance, compliance with state laws, and professional development. The organizations also pose a powerful force of advocacy in their state capitols with broad, diverse grassroots capacities on state and federal issues impacting special districts ability to provide quality services in their communities. However, 40 additional states have more than one type of special district exist to provide various services in their states without organized representation and fewer, if any, resources to meet their unique special district needs.
NSDC supports state special district coalition development where special districts stakeholders have demonstrated strong interest to forge a state coalition of their own. In 2023, NSDC formally assisted stakeholders in Arizona, Texas, and four NSDC Associate Members in Washington to coordinate discussion and early action to formally develop state special district coalitions with various goals and objectives. NSDC's long-term coalition development goal is organize district coalitions/organizations every state.
Coalition Associate & Affiliate Membership
The Coalition's Associate Members represent special districts providing a specific type or types of services in communities either locally, regionally, or on a state-by-state basis. Associate Members must have special districts in their membership. NSDC's Associate Members are unable to vote on Coalition matters but are are welcome to atttend and engage during NSDC's monthly legislative committee meetings, join policy advisory groups, and enjoy NSDC benefits.