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¿Oíste?'s mission is to promote the principles and practices of institutional and grassroots democracy and to advance the political, social and economic standing of Latinos and Latinas in the state.
¿Oíste? seeks to reach these goals as a member-driven organization through public policy, leadership development, civic engagement, progressive electoral reform and active voter mobilization.
¿Oíste? is a 501-C-3 organization founded in 2001 by a group of Massachusetts Latino community leaders. ¿Oíste?’s mission and programs evolved from a recognition that low-income Latinos and their neighbors in communities throughout Massachusetts needed a wide spectrum of civic education programs to give them the capacity to engage strategically in public affairs in order to transform public policies, and the systemic structures which generate them, into responsive mechanisms to solve local problems.
The people ¿Oíste? trains are often afraid to participate in community decision-making processes to engage in problem-solving. Most initially feel uninformed about public policy issues, apathetic about voting, and have a sense that their votes make no difference. Many are immigrants from South American countries with dictatorships and/or high levels of political corruption, which further deepen feelings of alienation from civic leadership. ¿Oíste?'s mission: to promote the principles and practices of institutional and grassroots democracy and to advance the political, social and economic standing of Latinos and Latinas in the state, is designed to address these fundamental failings of the democratic system in low-income communities with high concentrations of Latino residents.
¿Oíste? seeks to reach its goals as a member-driven community organizing agency through public policy and leadership development, civic engagement, progressive electoral reform and active voter mobilization. ¿Oíste?'s mission, fine-tuned as part of its 2012 strategic planning process, inspired the creation of grassroots leadership development programs shaped by and for the constituents they serve, whose success over 11 years led to the development of the new member-driven organizing model also developed during the 2012 strategic planning process.
The intent of all work in 2013 is to weave ¿Oíste?'s programs and organizational structure into a continuous pipeline for social change, designed to motivate and empower constituents at every level of leadership to move into the public arena in an informed, organized and powerful way, beginning where many of the most active have started their journey over the past 12 years.