Building future leaders
Woodburn based CAPACES Leadership Institute announced that this fall it will be adding peer mentorship support to its program, a step aimed at solidifying the successful political-leadership journeys of its graduates.
CAPACES Executive Director Jaime Arredondo said that over the past 19 months the group has worked with future leaders of the mid-Willamette Valley, including the provision of training on becoming effective public service leaders.
An especially strong focus has been aimed at fortifying leadership in underrepresented communities through the CAPACES' People's Representative's program.
Arredondo said there are more than 40 Marion County residents of Latino heritage who have completed the curriculum, which is focused on supporting diverse candidacies for school district boards and volunteer committees serving the region.
Peer mentorship support is the next step.
"We have well-prepared graduates, now we are launching a strong support system," Arredondo said. "Achieving a more inclusive political system requires that the body that represents it diversifies."
To that end, People's Representatives hired
Parakata Consulting, whose principal consultant is Teresa Alonso Leon as a consultant for her leadership experience. CAPACES then recruited volunteer mentors who have the experience and political acumen needed to provide their mentees optimal support.
Latino representatives at the state, local and school-district levels are included among the latter.
Arredondo stressed that this launching of the Peer Support program comes at a critical time; despite comprising a population of more than 100,000 residents in the region, very few Latinos serve on public decision-making bodies.
Except for those employed within the non-profit or social service sector, Arredondo noted, Latino political leaders are "virtually non-existent."
Laura Isiordia, a former CAPACES director and current Woodburn School District Board member, echoed the importance of providing tools and how that equates to success.
"To have Latinas in those decision making positions, it's required that we equip them with the tools to be proficient," Isiordia said.
For information, visit: www.capacesleadership.org/peoplesrepresentatives.
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