Community Action Partnership of Madera County’s (CAPMC) mission is to eliminate the effects of poverty by helping people obtain the knowledge and skills to achieve self-reliance and economic stability…one life at a time. To achieve this goal, CAPMC understands that government must be viewed as a critical partner for meeting human service needs in the community. The depth and need of the government’s investment in social services requires that any serious participant in this field be actively involved as an advocate to affect decision-making for community needs.
Being active in public advocacy is a key element of being a community leader. Along with community partners, businesses and social service agencies, CAPMC can provide public advocacy through expertise and perspective, leading to better policies and regulations in the community. With a trusted reputation and extensive work in the community, CAPMC is generally seen as an expert in the area of community needs.
In an era that finds non-profits assuming greater responsibility for meeting human service needs, it is imperative for CAPMC to engage and educate decision-makers and policy makers at the local, state, and national levels while calling the general public’s attention to the community’s most important issues.
CAPMC public policy activities include:
Advocating for legislation, policies, systems, services and funding for items important to the community, especially those highlighted in the Legislative Agenda;
Convening groups and individuals in the community to strategize on behalf of imperative issues;
Organizing training opportunities for partner agencies to learn about the legislative process and how to advocate for their clients;
Formulating a legislative agenda every two years that highlights key community issues;
Hosting legislative forums for community stakeholders to learn about issues of community concern; and
Publishing policy updates that provide advocacy tips and information on current legislative news, upcoming community events, and committee hearings on a wide range of topics.
CAPMC has implemented four strategies to address advocacy and public policy affecting our community:
A. Low-income participation–voice in decision-making
The CAPMC Board of Directors’ structure consists of five members from local elected public officials, five members from the private sector, and five members from the low-income target areas of the community. This structure is referred to as a tripartite Board.
This tripartite Board was established, through federal mandate, to allow for local decisions to be made by the residents of the community in which they live and work. The uniqueness of the tripartisan Board is that it provides the opportunity for low-income residents (1/3 of the Board) to be active participants in finding solutions for poverty, while working closely with local public officials and the private sector. Together, these diverse segments of the community provide a range of perspectives to address the local needs of individuals and families living in poverty.
B. Delegated Policy Group
Policy Council/Committee–Each of the three Head Start Programs has a designated Policy Council/Committee made up of enrolled parents and community representatives. The Policy Council/Committee makes policy recommendations to the Board of Directors on all Head Start services and program options. It is the highest level of shared governance within CAPMC’s structure. In addition, a member from the Policy Council holds a seat on the Board, increasing low-income participation at the Board level.
It is CAPMC’s understanding that while CAPMC focuses most of its efforts on state and local legislation, the national association–Community Action Partnership–is responsible for addressing/advocating for issues at the federal level.
CAPMC recognizes the intricate social, economic, and environmental issues facing the community. Due to the complexity of these issues, we form partnerships with various organizations and community groups throughout the region and state to provide meaningful impacts to the health and social well-being of those in our community. These partnerships allow CAPMC to help program participants build economic stability and promote long-term solutions.
We understand our knowledge, skills, and financial support is multiplied with the addition of community partners. Working together to eliminate the effects of poverty by helping people obtain knowledge and skills to achieve self-reliance and economic stability…one life at a time is the right thing to do for our community.
We seek partnerships with established, credible, and responsible local groups and organizations that support our mission and work towards our vision. Our partners:
- Align with our purpose of helping people, changing lives;
- Serve within our focus area;
- Have a presence in or make an impact in the communities we do business in;
- Make a distinct contribution and help create solutions;
- Align with our business interests;
- Solve real and underlying problems; and
- Engage our employees and leverage their expertise.