NACo’s We Are Counties campaign celebrates front-line county employees across the country
The National Association of Counties (NACo), today announced the launch of the “We Are Counties” campaign – an effort to put names and faces to front-line pandemic workers most of the population might not know are county employees.
“Dedicated county employees are addressing unprecedented challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic. The We Are Counties campaign will show everyone that counties are people – public servants who are making tremendous sacrifices, putting their own lives at risk – to save lives and keep all of us healthy and safe. That’s what makes them heroes,” NACo President Mary Ann Borgeson, a Douglas County, Neb. Commissioner, said in a statement.
Across the country, counties serve more than 300 million residents by supporting and operating nearly 1,000 hospitals, over 800 long-term care facilities, 750 behavioral health centers, 1,900 public health departments, emergency operations centers and 911 systems, according to NACo materials. These individuals staffing these facilities often go unrecognized.
The We Are Counties campaign will use social media to draw attention to the stories of these workers and humanize their efforts, NACo materials explain. It will feature pictures and videos of county workers from across the country using the hashtag #WeaAeCounties.
While highlighting individual stories, NACo hopes the campaign will also raise awareness of the financial need counties are facing as a result of the pandemic. The association estimates America’s counties face at least a $144 billion budget impact as a result of increased costs and declining revenues.
“We have been strongly advocating for direct and flexible federal funding for county responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and our lost revenue,” Borgeson added. “These are more than just numbers in a spreadsheet. We are talking about vital services our residents need and the people who deliver them day in and day out.”