The Community Services Advisory Council (CSAC) was established by the county council in 1986 to advise the county “on all matters relating to the causes of poverty and to a reduction in the effects of poverty.” The council is made up of at least 12 but no more than 24 members, including at least two from each council district, and equal representation among the following groups: community / private sector, low-income representatives, and public elected officials. Members serve four-year terms and may not serve more than two consecutive terms. Council members are appointed by the county council on recommendation of the executive.
The Advisory Council's mission is to make Snohomish County more responsive to the needs and interests of the poor by mobilizing both government and non-governmental resources, and creating greater institutional sensitivity through education and advocacy.
The purpose of the Advisory Council is to engage the Snohomish County community in assessing local needs and working to address the causes of poverty through education and advocacy efforts.
Furthermore, the CSAC oversees the administration of Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding and makes recommendations based on appropriateness and effectiveness of programs addressing priority needs of low-income residents in Snohomish County.
The CSBG program must be administered through a community-selected tripartite board. This “tripartite” board governance is a feature unique to CAAs and is a critical element in differentiating CAAs from other community-based organizations. The tripartite board governance also helps to empower those who have direct experience of the barriers to economic security to participate directly in the development of effective alternatives.
The Advisory Council makes efforts to have each County Council legislative district represented through membership and shall consist of the following: