The National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC), the only national organization advocating for and elevating special districts’ voice in Washington, D.C., has hit the ground running in 2023 on its federal policy priorities, building on successes from 2022, and is making moves to grow the Coalition.
Click here for NSDC’s 2022 Year In Review
NSDC approved in December its Federal Advocacy Platform for the 118th Congress, which serve as a guide to prioritize advocacy efforts. The Coalition will focus efforts on two major policy concerns for special districts: (1) better defining “special district” in federal law for enhanced access to federal programming for local governments, and (2) addressing community gaps in adequate water infrastructure for firefighting.
Click here to read the 2023-2024/118th Congress NSDC Federal Advocacy Platform
In October 2022, the Coalition successfully secured a congressional inquiry to the Library of Congress’ Congressional Research Service, made via the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, to produce an official report on how special districts are referenced and considered across federal law and programs. NSDC anticipates the report’s publication will be the catalyst for more intense, robust advocacy in 2023.
NSDC will also focus on legislative recommendations concerning community fire suppression infrastructure as published in its July 2022 report on the policy matter. The Coalition will pursue legislative solutions to the issue, including the establishment of a dedicated funding program to upgrade and construct water infrastructure in communities to meet demands for mitigation and fire suppression. These recommendations range from piloting a federal funding program to begin resolving the policy issue, increasing program funding and flexibility for major fire service support grants, reviewing the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s guidelines for developing multijurisdictional hazard mitigation plans, and generally expanding technical assistance and support for grant activities.
The Coalition will deepen its engagement with Members and affiliated special districts in 2023 with establishment of additional special district policy advisory groups. Currently, two advisory groups have been established for special district stakeholders in park/recreation and healthcare/hospital services. These advisory groups, and the groups soon to be established, serve has a forum of policy expertise as well as for networking among special district peers across the country.
With the new year comes a new opportunity to engage with the Coalition as part of its 2023 Trial Membership Program. NSDC invites special districts and organizations that represent and/or provide resources to special districts to join for a three-month trial period in the first half of the year to receive the direct benefits of Coalition membership, including advocacy and grants resources.
More information on the 2023 NSDC Trial Membership Program
For more information on NSDC’s federal advocacy efforts for approximately 35,000 special districts across the country, visit www.nationalspecialdistricts.org. Special districts and their associations interested in learning more about NSDC and how to get involved may contact us using this link.