While I may live in a small, rural community, I don't often consider the impacts of living in Truckee versus a large city. As the Truckee Representative for the Nevada County First Five Commission, I assist in the allocation of funds and support for services that serve those 0-5 years of age as well as their parents, caregivers and educators. Our funding depends on how many people live in Nevada County and while we are considered a "small county," we are not small enough to qualify for the "small county augmentation." Meaning that we would receive additional funding to support our work despite a lower number of babies born in our area. Living in a rural county has many benefits. We enjoy a larger area of undeveloped open space, including forest wilderness, wild and scenic rivers and majestic mountains. But on the flip side, our access to resources and services is greatly diminished. We pay a premium to live in rural counties, despite being pretty close to main highways and transportation routes. Representation is another area where those who live in rural counties are given short shrift. Our state and federal representatives don't spend much time checking in and concerning themselves with our issues. Our lack of people and dollars doesn't make for a very powerful lobby. I was given a bit of hope today with a visit from the Executive Director for First Five California. Camille Maben came to our meeting today to see the Nevada County Commission in action, share a bit about herself and avail herself to questions and suggestions. Her openness and vast experience in education was impressive. She has a great perspective on collaboration and working across the proverbial aisle to get things done. She understands the challenges that face rural counties and she has made it clear she is an advocate for our work. Very cool.
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