Website bootcamp module 3: Moving pictures - video resources for special districts

Posted on January 16, 2019

If you're considering using video to stream meetings or promote your district, this module can help! We discuss some of the things to consider (like closed captioning for accessibility), and various options that are available. This brief overview was pulled from our longer talk titled Writing for the Web.

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Website bootcamp module 2: A picture is worth a thousand words

Posted on January 9, 2019

This module introduces a lot of great information about website imagery: where to find fantastic stock photography and icons for free, how to use Google image search to find images you can reuse without copyright issues, when to use images vs. icons, and more. We also touch on the importance of making sure your images are tagged properly for accessibility. Lastly, we cover the reason you shouldn't use graphical images of text (like flyers) - at least, not unless you also add the content as text, too.

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Website bootcamp module 1: Why special districts need a great website

Posted on January 2, 2019

Websites matter, and in this module we spend some time explaining why they are even more important for special districts than for many other organizations. Special districts are doing important work, and a website can help you educate and connect with your communities - and it can also make sure that your voice is part of the conversation if any controversy arises, a rate increase is needed, etc. We also provide an overview of what each upcoming module will cover.

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SB 929 passes: all California special districts must have websites

Posted on September 21, 2018

A bill that requires all independent special districts in California to have a website was signed into law by Governor Brown this month. State Sen. Mike McGuire’s SB 929 – the Special Districts Transparency Act – requires every independent special district in California to create and consistently maintain a website with specific and detailed information including meeting agendas, clear information on the district’s budget and expenditures, compensation reports, information on how to contact representatives of the district, and more.

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Website accessibility standards for local government

Posted on August 31, 2018

There are a few formatting requirements that apply to local government agencies in California: Section 508 (for visitors with disabilities); AB 169 guidelines for anything considered “open data;” and AB 2257, which governs formatting and posting requirements for any agency’s main governing body’s agenda. In this article we’ll touch on the first two; to learn more about AB 2257 and home page agenda posting, check out this related article.

 

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California website requirements -- an overview

Posted on August 31, 2018

Special district websites must comply with federal and state mandates, but how do you keep up with changing requirements? The state doesn’t send you a letter after they’ve passed a new mandate, let alone give you a heads up beforehand. (And, how would you know Section 508 guidelines changed January 2018?)

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The Brown Act and new California agenda posting requirements

Posted on August 31, 2018

The Ralph M. Brown Act is an act of the California State Legislature passed in 1953 that guarantees the public's right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies. It’s been updated multiple times since its original drafting, and now includes a website posting requirement for agendas. While it has always been required to physically post agendas a minimum of 72 hours before upcoming regular meetings, it now requires that those agendas also be posted on the agency’s website, if they have one.

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What are the most common types of special districts?

Posted on April 25, 2017

This infographic from the 2012 Census on Local Government shows the breakdown of districts across the United States by type:

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A powerful defense of special districts at Little Hoover Commission hearing

Posted on August 31, 2016

And we’re not done yet!

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Being a special district isn't always so special

Posted on March 22, 2016

If you're one of the few people who haven't seen the John Oliver video poking fun at special districts, watch it (click on the video below this paragraph), and then finish reading this. But be warned: if you're involved in special district work, it can be hard to watch.

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