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Special Districts Program Greatest Hits for 2022

Special Districts Program
Happy holidays! With the year rapidly winding down, let’s revisit some Special Districts Program highlights from 2022.

Funding Your Future

In February, we released a unique special report that explored how special districts are tapping into federal relief funds, creating new revenue sources and forging innovative partnerships to prepare for the future. The report is packed with great ideas and practical advice that can help your district generate funds for modernization and reduce the cost of launching new technologies. Download your copy to see how:

• The San Joaquin Regional Transit District in Northern California used federal relief funds to keep buses running while it redesigns services to match new ridership trends.

• The Bremerton Housing Authority in Washington State generates important revenue by performing contract work for other housing authorities.

• The Moulton Niguel Water District in Southern California used innovative partnerships to launch new technologies that lower the district’s energy costs and help it detect water leaks.

Addressing Growing Cyber Risk

Speaking on a live Special Districts Program webcast in April, Christopher Krebs, former director of the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), urged special district leaders to prioritize cybersecurity improvements in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Krebs recommended that districts accelerate timelines for deploying multifactor authentication and other cyber-protection measures to counter increasingly dangerous global threats. He also warned that critical service providers like community water and power utilities could face particular danger from foreign adversaries seeking to cause disruption. Read more here.

Moving Your District Forward

The Fall Special Districts Virtual Summit in September offered a real-world look at how innovative special districts are addressing new requirements and evolving stakeholder expectations. Check out the recorded event to hear how:

• The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, which manages intercity passenger rail service in northern California, is deploying secure wireless connectivity to modernize passenger information displays in train stations and provide public Wi-Fi service for riders.

• The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, which provides public transportation in the greater Boston Area, created an easy and accessible digital process for low-income youth, senior citizens, blind residents and others to apply for reduced fare programs.

• The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, which serves nearly 700,000 people in the city of Detroit, moved nearly all its customer transactions online, enabling it to close three physical customer service facilities.

Recognizing Great Ideas

In October, we released our 2022 Technology Innovation Award Winners — 10 districts that exemplify innovation in citizen service, internal operations and leadership, plus one overall district of the year. In all, we received more than 40 award nominations for the 2022 award program, all of which are posted in our online National Innovation Showcase. Stop by to see how districts are using mobile technology to connect with residents, leveraging smart signal technology to improve transit, upgrading legacy radios at pump stations and much more.

Shaping Our Program

Throughout the year, our 14-member advisory board — representing water and power utilities, libraries, ports, housing districts, parks and transportation systems from across the nation — was instrumental in guiding the activities and events of the Special Districts Program. We sincerely thank our board members for their input and expertise.

See You in 2023!

Thank you all for engaging with the Special Districts Program in 2022. Your participation and contribution to this community is invaluable as we confront key challenges and address common issues – and move forward together. Happy new year!