Graduates of the People’s Representative Public Service Training. To date, over forty Marion County residents of Latino heritage have completed the curriculum focused on supporting diverse candidacies for appointed and elected seats and volunteer committees serving the region.
Latina/o leadership can help underrepresented communities across the mid-Willamette Valley at a time when transformational leadership is sorely needed. Despite a large concentration of Latinas/os in the region, there are very few Latina/o representatives on public decision making bodies (elected or volunteer) at any level in the Mid-Willamette Valley.
As the Latina/o population in Oregon grows in numbers, so have the challenges. In 2014 the Oregon County Data Book reported that in Marion County the gap between Latina/o/x and White children is wider than almost anywhere else in the state; higher poverty, lower school enrollment, and lower reading and math proficiency all lead to negative educational outcomes and poor health.
Despite a large concentration of Latinas/os in the region, there are very few on public decision making bodies (elected or volunteer) at any level in the Mid-Willamette Valley. From school boards to city council members to state legislature, they are virtually non-existent with the exception of those who lead in the non-profit and social service agency sector.