Who We Are

Who We Are

COPA is a regional nonprofit organization spanning Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties, made up of 22 member institutions of churches, synagogues, public schools, labor organizations and nonprofits.

Founded in 2003, COPA has a Lead Organizer, two youth organizers, and one administrative assistant. The organization is fueled by 200 active leaders with an ability to mobilize 500 to 5000 leaders. Issue strategy teams of leaders from multiple institutions guide the organizing work.

Contact us to learn how your institution might join COPA.

COPA’s Mission:

To develop the leadership skills of ordinary people to engage effectively in public life with power to negotiate with public and private sector leaders to change the economic, social, political and cultural pressures on their families.

Current Members:

  • Alianza School, Watsonville
  • Aptos Community Methodist
  • Assumption Catholic, Pajaro
  • Building Healthy Communities, Salinas
  • Calvary Episcopal, Santa Cruz
  • Central Coast Center for Independent Living (CCCIL)
  • CHISPA Housing
  • Lutheran Community Church, Watsonville
  • Monterey Bay Central Labor Council
  • National Union of Healthcare Workers
  • Our Lady of Solitude, Soledad
  • Peace United Church of Christ, Santa Cruz
  • Resurrection Catholic Community, Aptos
  • Sacred Heart Catholic, Salinas
  • Seaside Children’s Center, Seaside
  • St. Francis Xavier Catholic, Seaside
  • St. John the Baptist Episcopal, Aptos
  • St. Mary’s of the Nativity Catholic, Salinas
  • St. Philip’s Episcopal, Scotts Valley
  • St. Stephen’s Lutheran, Live Oak
  • Temple Beth El, Aptos
  • Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Santa Cruz, Aptos
  • Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula, Monterey
  • Unity of the Monterey Bay, Monterey
  • Walking Together Ministry of St. Mary’s by the Sea Episcopal, Pacific Grove
  • Watsonville 1st United Methodist




Lead Organizer:

Tim McManus began organizing with the Industrial Areas Foundation in 2009 for Dallas Area Interfaith. Tim spent 3 years organizing in Phoenix for IAF’s Valley Interfaith Project.  Tim joined COPA as Lead Organize in August 2013.

COPA Organizer :

Beatriz Trujillo joined COPA in 2017.

Andres Arias joined COPA in the 2018.

Administrative Assistant:

Rosa M Vitela, is a Watsonville native and graduate of UC Santa Cruz. Rosa joined COPA in August 2009.


COPA’s budget primarily supports the salaries of our 4 staff, along with office rent, supplies, copies, and materials, travel, and translation services for bilingual meetings. Funding comes from 3 sources: Membership Dues, Foundation Grants and Individual Investors.

Membership Dues:

Each member institution pays annual dues according to the size of their institution. Because the issue agenda of COPA is driven by its members, the financial ownership in the organization by the members is critical to COPA’s success.

Foundation Grants:

COPA is grateful to the foundations who believe in our work and provide us programmatic funding to support various initiatives of mutual interest:

  • Catholic Campaign for Human Development
  • Community Foundation of Monterey County
  • Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County
  • The California Endowment
  • The California Wellness Fund

Individual Investors:

In recent years, COPA leaders have asked individual business leaders and organizations to invest in our work of leadership development for the mutual benefit of economic development, community safety, public education and affordable housing. We thank these community leaders for believing in, and investing in COPA’s agenda over the years:

  • Art Anton
  • Don Chapin, The Don Chapin Company
  • Diocese of Monterey Bishop Richard Garcia
  • Kurt Gollnick, Scheid Vineyards
  • John Grunder
  • Sylvia Panetta, The Panetta Institute
  • Rowland and Pat Rebele
  • Warren Wayland, Hayashi & Wayland Certified Public Accountants
  • George Ow and Gail Michaelis-Ow

WELCOME our newest member:

Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula, Monterey

Unity of the Monterey Bay, Monterey

Regional Strategy Team:

The Regional Strategy Team fulfills the functions of COPA’s Board of Directors, but more importantly, the group acts to support the work of the institutional leaders at the local level, while giving overall strategic direction to COPA as a regional organization.

  • Maria Elena Manzo, Sacred Heart Catholic Church
  • Maria Rocha, Assumption Catholic Church
  • Alicia Hernandez-Sanchez, California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB)
  • Martina O’Sullivan, Resurrection Catholic Church
  • Mary Litel-Walsh, Resurrection Catholic Church
  • Jack Herbig, Walking Together Ministry-St. Mary’s by the Sea Episcopal Church
  • Cesar Lara, Monterey Bay Central Labor Council

COPA : Welcome !


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