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Nov 10 - Dec 31, 2022



COPA’s mission is to build leadership capacity in local institutions, enabling them to collaborate to solve community problems and to revive and reinvigorate civic culture.

COPA is a non-partisan, broad-based organization of almost thirty religious congregations, labor unions, schools, and nonprofits. We organize across institutions to bring together a diverse cross-section of the region around mutual interests to achieve change for the common good.

The Big Idea

A healthy democracy depends upon vibrant, community-based institutions and leadership across diverse groups of people. COPA develops and nurtures community leaders within local institutions to identify problems facing their neighborhoods. COPA then builds communal power to take effective action on the issues and bring about measurable and lasting change.

We start by sharing our stories, building relationships, and developing trust. Most COPA meetings are bilingual. The issues we take on evolve from our stories and experiences. We then work together to address the economic, social, political, and cultural pressures on our families and neighborhoods.

“COPA strengthened my leadership skills, along with Mujeres en Acción, so I was able to chair a meeting with Monterey County Supervisor Lopez. Even though it was nerve-wracking, I did it. I gained confidence and started to believe more in myself. It felt good to be supported by other COPA leaders, and to know that I was trusted. I’ve learned how to receive constructive criticism and know that it’s not personal. COPA showed me how to have effective one-on-one relational meetings, and how to hold “house meetings” to learn what people care deeply about, and to build community support. These skills have made me a better coordinator on the VIDA (COVID-19) program at Mujeres en Acción. I have learned how to be more accountable, transparent, and to give clear direction to the community health workers.”

- Alma Oliveros