Phyllis P. Nance, 2019 CSDA President and Director, Alameda County DCSS
I can’t believe it is March 2019. I have been your President for two months now, and what a busy two months it has been! For the first time in recent history, the Governor’s proposed budget included increased funding for our program. We saw a notable increase in proposed child support legislation, and we are planning our first ever Legislative Day at the Capital. Last year, former President Don Semon described 2018 as a “defining moment” for child support. While Don had great vision, I don’t believe even he could have imagined the astonishing progress our program and Association would make in just one year!
After 28 years of experience in the child support program, I truly believe that our program is important and necessary. The work that child support professionals accomplish daily makes a difference for the families we serve. I also recognize the power of a collective voice. That power was evident this past year as we advanced our message of adequate funding for our program. The journey of last year’s effort, and the lessons we learned along the way, made clear both the impact and the importance of a cohesive Association.
We are in the perfect position as an Association to build a coalition of stakeholders to advocate for the child support program. With additional funding for our program outlined in the Governor’s 2019-2020 budget, we now have a platform to educate the Legislature about the important work we do to help children and families. My goals for this year are to continue the work of building our Association’s influence, increase our advocacy, and make our collective voice stronger.
These next few months are going to require a concerted and collaborative effort. I recognize this will be a challenging yet rewarding endeavor. We need full engagement of our members, increased knowledge of our role, the trust and support of the Board, and space to discuss diverse opinions. Our committees will need to coordinate the work of reviewing, researching, communicating, and making recommendations on proposed legislation. We will educate our stakeholders on the child support program and use our advocacy voice to encourage support for the Governor’s budget.
As your President, I am committed to ensuring that the CSDA Board is engaged, knowledgeable, ethical, accountable, and transparent in our actions. I am also committed to building the capacity of our membership, creating opportunities and a safe space for all voices to be heard.
I am excited about serving as the 2019 CSDA President. I am honored to have Baljit Atwal as our Vice President and Natalie Dillon acting again in the Past President role. I am grateful for the leadership legacy of Don Semon and the hard work of the CSDA Board, our Executive Director, the staff, and our membership.
I believe as an Association, we can define this moment for ourselves. Our membership represents the diversity of the California landscape, and our different county perspectives are valuable. We are talented, passionate, and visionary leaders. We are the experts in delivering child support services. I look forward to collaborating with you all and uniting as one voice to promote the child support program to transform the lives of children.