At the 2018 California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) Annual Awards Gala and Dinner in Santa Rosa on April 11, the Office of Assessor Carmen Chu was recognized with two top communications awards given for their innovative efforts in creating California’s first Property Tax Fact Sheet Series and Family Wealth Forum in 2017.
“I am honored to win CAPIO’s highest honor for our communications and outreach work. As a daughter of immigrants I understand there are barriers to service and I hope I can close those gaps through effective and culturally competent outreach.” said Assessor Carmen Chu of San Francisco. “My job is to help deliver on the values of good government and as CAPIO’s motto highlights ‘good government requires good communicators’” she added.
With nearly 200 quality entries from California jurisdictions and beyond, the Property Tax Fact Sheet Series and the Family Wealth Forum both received CAPIO’s top awards – the Excellence in Public Information and Communications (EPIC) Award – under the subcategories for publications and recurring events.
The Property Tax Fact Sheet Series is a series of 10 community fact sheets covering ownership changes, supplemental taxes, tax-saving programs, and other frequently asked questions. They were developed as a tool to improve the public’s understanding of property taxation. State laws around property taxation can be complicated, especially for first-time homebuyers, immigrants with limited English proficiency and others. The Assessor’s Office identified a public service need to turn complex tax laws into easy-to-understand content. As a leader in California, San Francisco’s fact sheet series were also the first to prioritize information access to diverse communities as they are translated to six additional languages, including Chinese, Spanish, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean and Russian. For more information, please visit http://sfassessor.org/about-us/fact-sheets
The Family Wealth Forum serves as a one-stop shop for families with questions around asset building and estate planning. For many families in San Francisco, owning a home is often their biggest investment, but laws around inheriting properties can be complicated. More important, credible sources of information on estate planning are not often accessible, especially for low and middle-income families who have less access to financial or legal counseling. In September 2017, the Assessor’s Office stepped in to bridge this information gap by creating California’s first Family Wealth Forum. The free event offered multilingual workshops, one-on-one counseling with experts, and a variety of service providers from public agencies and non-profits. The event has been replicated in the Mission District, Sunset and Sunnyside neighborhoods with close to 800 families served, a majority of them seniors, immigrants and women. For more information on the Family Wealth Forum, please visit www.sfassessor.org/familywealthforum.
The California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) is a membership organization serving more than 500 professionals throughout the public sector who engage communities through honest and transparent communication. CAPIO provides education and networking that helps its members and their agencies develop and advance.