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OACO Strategic Plan
Build equity, leadership, and public policy that improve the success of Black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific Oregonians and Women in the Oregon economy, employment, education, justice, health, and access to services by supporting the work of the 4 Oregon Advocacy Commissions,.
To assist the statutory work of the Commissions with legislators and the Governor in recommending, crafting and supporting public policy that address these issues, strengthening bridges between vulnerable populations and governmental services, coalition building and leveraging resources, studying issues, and representing the needs of their constituencies.

The Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office (OACO) is established under ORS 185.005 to ORS 185.025 Chapter 818 to provide administrative support to: The Oregon Commission on Asian Affairs (OCAA); The Oregon Commission on Black Affairs (OCBA); The Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs (OCHA); and The Oregon Commission for Women (OCFW). 
The Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office’s chief responsibility is supporting the statutory advocacy missions of the 4 Commissions (each with 9 Governor appointed Commissioners and 2 legislators) aimed improving the economic, social, legal, and political equality of Oregon’s Asian, Black, and Hispanic communities and for Oregon women.  Historically, this has included monitoring programs and legislation, identifying and researching issues, maintaining a liaison with constituent communities, growing constituent representation in leadership positions, and recommending action to policy makers and the Governor on key issues facing their constituents. Issues considered by the OACO and 4 Commissions in 2009 – 11 biennium included healthcare, mental health, domestic violence, voter registration, poverty, education disparities, child care, racism, discrimination, workforce participation, wage equality, profiling, justice and civil rights.  
The Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office operates pursuant to the following statutes:
·        Advocacy Commissions Office – 185.005-185.025
·        Commission on Asian Affairs – ORS 185.610-185.625
·        Commission on Black Affairs – ORS 185.410-185.430
·        Commission on Hispanic Affairs – ORS 185.310-185.330
·        Commission for Women – ORS 185.510 – 185.560

OACO LONG TERM PLAN: 2010 - 2015
The Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office (OACO) was established by statute in 2005 to serve what had previously been 4 separately staffed Commissions focused on growing equity, leadership and success among Black, Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic Oregonians and Women.   This was done in order to more efficiently serve the Commissions during tight funding and grow collaboration between the Commissions on their statutory missions improving the economic, social, legal, and political equity of their constituent populations.   The OACO office was initiated in 2006 staffed at the beginning of 2008 with an Administrator and Executive Assistant and it has recently moved its offices (July, 2010) from Salem to the PSU campus to grow its reach in several key areas: Growing future leaders with internships and mentoring for students of color and women; building expertise and resources affecting poverty, health, and justice; and partnering in studies and demonstration projects focused on priority areas. 
OACO Strategic Priorities
In 2010 the individual Commissions, each composed of 9 community leaders and 2 legislators, met to identify the issues challenging their constituent communities.   They identified the following Strategic Priorities that are the focus of the work of the Commissions in improving equity, growing constituent community leadership, studying issues and best practices, and informing legislation and public policy. 
Strategic Priority Areas:
1)      Poverty/employment
         Associated Oregon Benchmarks
  • OBM 13-Income Disparity
  • OBM 14- Workers at 150% or more of Poverty
  • OBM 15 Unemployment
2)      Education/Careers
         Associated Oregon Benchmarks
  • OBM 18-27 Ready to Learn, K-12 education, post secondary, skill development
3)      Civic engagement/isolation
         Associated Oregon Benchmarks
  • OBM 30-32 Volunteering, Voting and Feeling of Community
4)      Health/health access
         Associated Oregon Benchmarks
  • OBM 39-48 Teen pregnancy, prenatal care, infant morality, immunizations, HIV diagnosis, adult non-smokers, preventable death, perceived health status, affordable child care, available child care
5)      Justice/safety/policing
         Associated Oregon Benchmarks
  • OBM 61- 65 Overall crime, juvenile arrests, students carrying weapons, adult and juvenile recidivism
6)      Stable families
         Associated Oregon Benchmarks
  • OBM 53-57 Poverty, health insurance, homelessness, child support, domestic violence, and hunger
Goal 1)   Advocate to improve equity and success in 6 key areas of concern to Oregon’s Black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific Islander communities and women: poverty/employment, education/careers, civic engagement/isolation, health/health access, justice/safety/policing, and stable families.
Objective 1:  Work with the Governor’s office and legislators to craft legislation and policies that grow equity and success in  lives of communities of color and women in strategic priority areas
Output 1a:  Meet with key legislators in and out of session to discuss areas of mutual interest on equity issues and make plans for crafting and support with key legislation/policy.
Output 1b:  Engage regularly with Governor’s policy advisors on strategies and upcoming opportunities to work jointly on key issues.
Output 1c:  Provide essential statistical resources and policy forums for policy makers/legislators on target communities
  • By  2010, each Commission will contact the Chair and individual Commission legislators serving on legislative committees to offer a short presentation during Committee work pertinent to the Strategic Priority Areas.
  • During the 2011 and 2013 legislative sessions, OACO and the Commissions will track 1 -3 key legislative efforts in each of OACO’s Strategic Priority Area.
  • By September 2011, the OACO will annually host 2-3 policy interns with PSU, OSU, and other academic partners
  • By August 2012, the OACO will e-publish its first biennial statistical overview of each Strategic Priority Area by target community
  • By April 2013, the OACO will e-publish annually a legislative/policy guide to its Strategic Priority Areas.
  • By May, 2015, the OACO and its policy analyst/service partners will host its first biennial pre-session legislative forum for legislators on strategic priority areas and statistical information by target areas: Black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific Islander,& Women.
Objective 2: Work with departmental leadership of service, justice/safety, and education agencies to identify areas of concern to Commissions and develop joint efforts to address key issues.
Output 1a:  Meet annually with Departmental leadership to discuss areas of mutual interest on strategic priority issues and choose areas for joint efforts.
Output 1b:  Work internally with Departmental leadership to provide support for their work to improve equity and success, including studying issues, providing recommendations, gaining feedback from key communities, working on internal committees and Boards and other support to their work.
  • By  2010, the OACO will have met with key leaders within DHS, Department of Education, and ODOT to identify the framework for Commission involvement in supportive ways for building equity and success for target communities.
  • By 2011, the Commissions will work with Departmental leadership to identify key Departmental committees, advisory councils and Boards that would benefit from membership by Commission members.
  • By 2012, the Commissions will host community forums with Departmental leadership that provide input and raise awareness within target communities of Departmental initiatives and budget requests.
Objective 3: Develop OACO’s network and working relationships with Departmental legislative/policy analysts and community partners to track legislation and policy development during its discussion, drafting and support. 
Output 1a:  Meet with community partners and legislators serving on the Commissions regarding legislation and legislative committee work on areas affecting OACO’s Strategic Priority Areas and develop a joint work plan for tracking legislation.
Output 1b:  Prepare and offer to provide informational presentations representing the viewpoints of Commission communities during legislative committee proceedings on strategic issue areas.
Output 1c:  Organize legislative days for Commissioners and prepare a series of informational 1 page pieces on Commission positions on legislation.
  • By October 2010, each Commission will contact the Chair and individual Commission legislators serving on legislative committees to offer a short presentation during Committee work pertinent to the Strategic Priority Areas.
  • During the 2011 and 2013 legislative sessions, OACO and the Commissions will track 1 -3 key legislative efforts in each of OACO’s Strategic Priority Area.
  • By the end of the 2011 Session, OACO and its Commissions will have hosted legislative days for each of its 4 Commissions and organized Commissioner approved testimony in each of its Strategic Priority Areas.
Goal 2) Build leadership development from Commissions’ constituent communities
Objective 1:  Increase Mentoring & Internship opportunities with OACO for students of color and women
Output 1a:  Adopt personnel policies that provide procedures, oversight, evaluation and encouragement for OACO staff and commissioners to mentor future youth leaders, and/or host college interns (for credit) from constituent communities.
Output 1b:  Develop close ties with all Oregon universities and community colleges and identify OACO internships in key areas of equity and justice for which interns will receive course credit.
Output 1c:  Initiate an ongoing Emerging Leaders Internship and Mentor Initiative within OACO and its Commissions
  • By 2011, each Commission is mentoring 2 young leaders from their constituent communities/high schools, increasing to 5 mentees for each Commission by 2015. 
  • By 2011, each Commission is hosting a college intern for course credit, increasing to 2 interns each by 2015.
  • By June 2011, the OACO has agreements with PSU, OSU, and Portland area CC’s for awarding course credit for specific internships with OACO and its Commissions.
  • By June 2012, the OACO and its Commissions have conducted evaluations of its Emerging Leadership Intern and Mentoring Program, from the student, college, and Commissioner viewpoints and developed a report of best practices.
  • By October 2012, the OACO and its Commissions host its first annual Intern Award and Outreach program with the Collaborating Schools and Community Partners.
  • By October 2014 the OACO has agreements with State agencies including the governor’s office, to host post graduate internships (for school credit) with OACO intern alumni.
  • By October 2015, the OACO, its Commissions, Oregon Colleges and CC’s, and State Departments/Gov’s Office are co-hosting the Emerging Leadership Interns Awards and Outreach for undergrad and graduate students of color and women.
Objective 2:  Increase success of emerging leaders of color and women into state/local leadership roles
Output 2a:  Initiate OACO’s Growing Leaders Initiative with Leadership Training, and networking opportunities for Commission members focused on developing individual leadership capacity and growing collegial networks with state and local partners.
Output 2b:  Evaluate and restructure the working committees of the Joint Commission and individual Commissions to grow their alignment with the missions of the Commissions and the OACO.
Output 2c:  Establish ad hoc committee membership for the working and leadership committees of the Joint Commissions and each of the 4 individual Commissions in order to recruit and develop beneficial working relationships with leaders of their constituent communities.
  • By January 2011, OACO will host quarterly Leadership Training sessions via teleconference for its commissioners with presentations and discussions hosted by expertise from the alumni of the Commissions, Oregon Universities and Colleges, and community partners.
  • By June 2011 the Commissions will have evaluated the committee structure for the Joint Commissions and developed recommendations for a committee structure strategically aligned with the OACO/Commission missions.
  • By March 2012, OACO will partner with Say Hey, a networking event for professionals of color, to recruit interested leaders of color and women for Commissions and OACO committees.
  • By June 2012, the OACO/Commission committees will indentify and recruit ad hoc expertise to join the aligned committees of the Commissions and Joint Commission.
  • By June 2014, the OACO and its Commissions regularly work with state partners doing recruitment to fill state leadership by recommending appropriate candidates who have served the Commissions’ and OACO’s committees, leadership development program or internships.
Goal 3)  Grow community outreach and awareness within Commissions’ constituent communities, and for policy makers/legislators.
Objective 1: Improve the ability of OACO and its Commissions to reach constituents, partners and policy makers by growing its listserv databases.
Output 1a:  Work with the State Library and the Commissions to review and select a best practice model for listservs used by other small Boards and Commissions in Oregon.
Output 1b:  Adopt the listserv model and establish a set of listservs with the State Library in support of the Commissions’ missions.
Output 1c:  Implement an outreach campaign to partners, communities, and policy makers to build the OACO listserv databases of recipients.
  • By November 2010, OACO and the Commissions will prepare a survey to gauge interest in the Commissions Strategic Priority Areas and request the help of Legislators to send it to their constituents.   Respondents would have an opportunity to sign up to be on specific OACO listservs. 
  • By Feb 2011, each Commission will keep interested constituents and policy makers up to date on legislation and policy activity in support of their Strategic Priority Areas.
  • By June 2011, OACO and the Commissions will evaluate their community outreach by means of list serves for 3 key audiences: constituent communities, policy makers and community partners.
  • By October 2012, the OACO and its Commissions will have grown their listservs to have 500+ addresses of constituent leaders, policy makers, and community partners and will add 100 annually.
  • By October 2015, the OACO and its Commissions will have grown their listservs to have 800+ addresses of constituent leaders, policy makers, and community partners
Objective 2:  Broaden the content of the web pages of each Commission to support all aspects of the OACO mission
Output 1a:  Engage the web expertise to add specialized functions for event support, donation tracking and payment options, and list serv sign-up at each Commission webpage and the OACO webpage.
Output 1b:  Review the current content of OACO and Commission web pages by key publics and improve the alignment of the pages with the mission of the OACO/Commission and outreach with Commission constituents.
Output 1c:  Develop a robust system for keeping the OACO web pages up to date, engaging, and proactive in support of its mission.
  • By October 2010, establish a Spanish language mirror site for the Commission on Hispanic Affairs website.
  • By December 2010, OACO and the Commissions review their web pages and survey partners, constituents and policy makers on most desired information and format for its web pages. 
  • By March 2011, each Commission will provide weekly updates at its web pages on upcoming legislation and policy activity in support of their Strategic Priority Areas.
  • By June 2011, OACO and the Commissions will host a quarterly policy discussion on its website and/or Commission-hosted Facebook pages on aspects of its key priority areas.
  • By October 2012, the OACO and its Commissions will have grown their website visits by 100% over 2010 and will continue to increase it web traffic 25% annually thereafter for both visits and duration of visit.

The OACO short term plans focus on improving the overall operational function of the Office and its daily support to the 4 Governor appointed Commissions that it administers:
The Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office (OACO) and the 4 Commissions it serves is one Program Unit. 
Purpose– The OACO provides administrative support to the statutory work of the Commissions advising policy, growing leadership, and building success for Asian Pacific, Black, & Hispanic Oregonians and for Women.   Its primary support includes:
  • Assist the Commissions in developing strategies for achieving equity for all Oregonians
  • Work with the Commissions to formulate policies and make recommendations for revisions. 
  • Prepare operational reports, program proposals and technical data summaries for the Commissions
  • Adopt administrative rules for the Office as needed to meet the operating goals of the Office and the four Commissions
  • Coordinate task forces and focus groups and provide information on issues under study
  • Prepare and distribute Commissions’ agendas and minutes
  • Schedule appearances before the Commissions
  • Research and prepare reports to members about policy issues
  • Assist with coordination of Commission fundraising activities
  • Provide financial oversight and reporting to the Commissions and legislature
  • Coordinate legislative advocacy of the Commissions
Customers– The customers of the OACO and its Commissions:
  • Communities of color and women represented by the Commissions,
  • Legislators and public policy makers who regularly work with the Commissions and seek their advice on matters affecting Black, Hispanic and Asian Oregonians and women.
  • The Governor and his policy staff who regularly take counsel with the Commissions and Commissioners in key policy areas including: justice, policing and profiling, health/health access, stable families, education disparities, and other key policy areas. 
Source of funding– The OACO has 2 sources of funding: the General Fund ($495,315) and Other Funds ($76,000) from individual donations and Commission sponsored fund raising events (Women of Achievement Awards, Anniversary celebrations, etc.) 
Budget breakdown
  • Of General Funds, 78% is invested in 2 FTE positions: an Administrator and Executive Assistant who accomplish the work of the OACO.   12% of General Funds are used to cover office rent, communications, travel, supplies and professional services including CPA, IT support, payroll, distance meeting technology, and web presence.
  • 100% of Other Funds are used by the Commissions to extend their reach into outlying areas of Oregon as they host meetings in Southern, Western, and Eastern Oregon.   The Other Funds primarily cover Commissioner in-state travel, registration, and meeting costs.   

For the Black, Hispanic, and Asian Pacific communities and Women represented by the OACO Commissions, the great recession of 2009 - 10 has resulted in a picture darker than the 2001-04 recession: unemployment in the represented communities have hit record highs, apprenticeships and other entrées to the trades have dwindled, home foreclosures in all vulnerable communities including single parent households has soared, the cost of higher education is further out of reach, small and emerging business owners in the represented communities are struggling or closing,  continued perception by communities of color on racial profiling and uneven justice, and loss of business provided daycare are among the issues facing the OACO focus communities.   The represented communities have benefited tremendously with the initiation of Healthy Kids for the uninsured children in OACO’s focus populations and especially in the immigrant Hispanic and resident Black communities and woman headed, single parent families.   OACO and all of its community partners including CAUSA, APANO, Women’s Health Initiative, and Urban League of Portland are providing referral and/or intake for Health Kids.
OACO does not have the staffing, with 2 staff supporting the work of 4 Commissions and 44 Commissioners, to provide all of the organizing, research, coalition building, partnerships and advocacy support necessary as the Commissions pursue their statutory role during the upcoming legislative session and beyond.  Instead, the staff and Commissioners work as a team to leverage Commission connections with the communities and legislators to craft supportive legislation, its access to state and partner data regarding the struggles of its target community to inform supportive policy and develop position papers, and cost effective digital meeting technology to engage legislators and communities in addressing the social, cultural, educational, and economic causes challenging equity in Oregon.  Uneven staffing during the young life of the OACO has challenged the 4 Commissions but never shaken their focus on building bridges between their communities and Oregon policy makers and programs.  Each continued to meet during periods of low staff or no staff and while slowed, have kept forward movement in their goals and kept their commitment to represent target community needs and solutions to government.

The Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office has several initiatives that it is supporting in its long term plan and also its individual work with Commissions.   These are the key initiative areas of the OACO for 2011 -2013.
Legislative Concepts:
  1. The Oregon Commission on Asian Affairs (OCAA) has submitted a legislative concept that proposes a change in the name of the Commission to become the “Oregon Commission on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs”.
  2. The Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs (OCHA) and Senator Chip Shields have submitted a legislative concept proposing an Oregon alternative drivers license that would allow Oregonians to follow a simplified application process that would have as its primary criterion certification of competence to drive.
  3. The Oregon Commission on Black Affairs (OCBA) is requesting a legislative concept that proposes that no person, including a mandatory reporter, shall knowingly make a false report of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment to the abuse hot line child protective services, or local law enforcement agencies.
  4. The Oregon Commission for Women (OCFW) has submitted a legislative concept that would change the choice of Commission Chair from an appointment by the Governor to selection by a vote of the Commission members.
  • The OACO Emerging Leaders Internship and Mentor Initiative: Starting with 4 interns in 2011 and growing to 25 in 5 years the OACO and its Commissions will become partners for 4-5 Oregon Universities and Colleges crafting “for credit” internships to further develop emerging leaders in areas affecting the 6 Strategic Priority Areas of the Commissions.
  • The OACO Growing Leaders Initiative consisting of quarterly leadership training for Commissioners and their committee members, coupled with a re-alignment of OACO and Commission committee structure designed to attract the expertise and passions of emerging leaders of target communities. 
  • OACO is working with the Commission for Women to further its interest in researching and publishing a Status of Oregon Women Report in 2011, in partnership with its new landlords at PSU, and its connections with OHSU research already completed and OSU’s long standing commitment to the subject. 
  • OACO is working with the Commission on Hispanic Affair to bring a focus on public safety for immigration and driver’s license discussions.  OCHA is working partners to bring together a consortium of stakeholders discussion on immigration and policing issues to find a common framework for a potentially divisive subject. 
  • The Commission on Black Affairs s providing a focus on minority contracting and profiling from which all the Commissions will benefit.
  • The Commission on Asian Affairs is hosting discussions with Departmental leaders to explore how their programs are addressing the needs and issues of the Asian Pacific Islander communities and partnering with APANO on voter registration/education.
Goal 1)      Increase OACO customer service to key customers including Commissioners, the Governor’s Office, Legislators, Partners and target community members
Overall objectives
  • Provide timely, accurate, relevant data and resources to the commissions, legislators and the community
  • Increase active statewide participation on the Commissions in one new Southern or Eastern Oregon location annually
  • Increase socio-economic diversity on the Commissions
  • Increase gender diversity on the Commissions
  • Increase pool of applicants to replace term-limited members
  • Improve each Commission’s website to include information that will be useful to the public
  • Create a list serve to disseminate information about OACO activities and other items of interest to the OACO community and partners
  • Create outreach materials for the Commissions
  • Develop talking points and an electronic presentation for public presentations regarding OACO and its activities
  • Solicit outreach opportunities in the community venues such as educational forums, community fairs, community events and college campuses
  • Develop an interactive webpage with links to agencies and other community based organizations
Goal 2)   Improve OACO reporting:  Develop, administer, and compile annual assessment survey for all the Commissions for the Biennial Community Report to Legislature
Overall objectives
  • Educate policymakers on issues that affect the implementation and establishment of economic, social, legal and political equality for OACO constituencies and Commissions
  • Actively seek community partner and stakeholder input into OACO’s work plan and legislative agenda
  • Develop and cultivate on-going relationships with community partners and stakeholders
  • Develop focus group questions regarding strength, weaknesses and needs of the Commissions’ stakeholder groups
  • Work with Community partners, Commissioners and legislators to identify an easy to read, informative format for the report
  • Identify key statistical pieces that will form the foundation of the report and work with state agency partners to provide excerpts and links to the data for the report.
Goal 3)   Increase legislative engagement by Commissioners with legislators and their staff.
Overall objectives
  • Improve communication with legislatively appointed committee members
  • Increase attendance by legislators and staff at the Commission meetings
  • Improve relationship and informational exchange between OACO and Legislators
  • Become contact of choice for information, data and resources for Legislators and staff
  • Cultivate relationship building with staff and Legislators
  • Provide frequent and relevant updates on issues and actions
Goal 4)   Broaden the scope of outreach and building awareness to include monitoring of programs and policy affecting Commission target communities
Overall objectives
  • Build a coalition of leaders from public, private, and non-profit organizations to develop strategies and policies affecting the Commissions’ constituency base
  • Collaborate with a broad base of organizations, stakeholders, businesses and community members to advocate policies and programs to improve the lives of the constituency base
  • Make informed decisions on public positions to ensure positive impacts on people served by the Commissions
  • Communicate as needed with stakeholders major public positions adopted by the Commissions, and provide the underlying rational.
  • Recruit community leaders within Oregon to develop and assure implementation of strategies and policies to carry out the OACO mission
  • Support key local, state and federal policies that help and are consistent with OACO legislative priorities
  • Build the capacity in the communities of color and women to educate the public and policymakers about the causes and conditions of the OACO constituency and advocate effective change through citizen action
  • Convene forums with policy makers and community partners to create “win-win” policies on healthcare, housing, childcare, education, jobs and economic development for OACO constituents
  • Participate in local and state-wide public policy discussions to ensure access to timely, accurate, relevant information to be included in policy and program recommendations impacting the Commissions and constituents