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NSDC Marks Success with First Advocacy Fly-In to Capitol Hill

September 26, 2022 | Cole Karr

The National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) completed its first formal advocacy fly-in to Washington, DC, to engage on priority federal issues facing the nation’s 35,000+ special districts.

Regular members seated on the NSDC Legislative Committee met with Congressional and Senate offices to share the importance of defining special districts in federal code, promote awareness of essential public services special districts provide to constituents, and begin laying groundwork on efforts to close community gaps in adequate fire suppression infrastructure.

“NSDC’s first fly-in is not only significant for our growing Coalition, but it is also a historic success for the nation’s special districts as the first organized advocacy event on Capitol Hill to voice priorities and concerns impacting many of the nation’s 35,000 special districts,” said Neil McCormick, NSDC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the California Special Districts Association. “Together, our Coalition is raising its voice and taking action on major policy matters impacting how thousands of special purpose governments are able to access critical programs to provide quality services to millions of Americans. The Coalition looks forward to growing our presence in Washington in the year ahead, and to further building the relationships between our Congressional delegations with special districts providing essential services to mutual constituents.”

NSDC met with key legislators representing the Coalition’s member states, including House and Senate offices in California, Colorado, Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. The top priority for special districts advocates was to spotlight the necessity of special districts to be clearly defined as eligible for federal programs aiding local government infrastructure and other community programs. NSDC’s Members elevated efforts to request through key congressional representatives an official, non-partisan Congressional Research Service report to provide full context on issues surrounding special districts’ uniform access to federal programs geared toward local government.

Members also elevated NSDC’s research covering community gaps in water infrastructure for firefighting with recommendations to resolve the policy issues impacting more than 10,000 special districts providing water and fire protection services across the country. NSDC will be preparing for legislative advocacy on this topic in early 2023.

For more information, contact Cole Karr, NSDC Federal Advocacy Coordinator.

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NSDC Members and staff pose for a photo on the East Side of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, September 21, 2022. Pictured from left to right: Michael Valdez, Special Districts Association (SDA) of Colorado Policy Director; Frank Stratton, Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO) Executive Director; Kyle Packham, California Special Districts Association (CSDA) Advocacy and Public Affairs Director; Ann Terry, SDA of Colorado Executive Director; Neil McCormick, CSDA Chief Executive Officer; Chief Michael Choate, Florida Association of Special Districts (FASD) Legislative Committee Member; Heather Anderson, Utah Association of Special Districts (UASD) Director of Government Affairs; David Ulbricht, SDAO Director of Advisory Services; Chief David Cambareri, FASD Legislative Committee Chair; Cole Arreola-Karr, NSDC Federal Advocacy Coordinator.
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