2017 UnidosUS Affiliate of the Year MAAC speaks about upcoming Affiliate Peer Exchange
By Stephanie Presch, Content Specialist, UnidosUS
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a regular series that will highlight the work of UnidosUS Affiliates. These community-based organizations—nearly 300 strong—work daily to assist, educate, and empower communities nationwide. They are the heart of UnidosUS.
In 1965, MAAC was created by a small group of community leaders in San Diego who recognized the need to advocate on behalf of the Latino community to access the employment opportunities that were being created.
At the time, the poverty rate was 19% in San Diego County, and President Lyndon Johnson had just declared a War on Poverty. This signaled an aggressive new approach to combatting the problems that people face in trying to make ends meet, put food on the table, and afford their children’s medical bills.
Since then, MAAC has evolved into a 500-staff member organization that serves all of San Diego County with five focus areas: housing, economic development, health and well-being, education, and advocacy. Establishing strong public-private partnerships is key to accomplishing the goals of this UnidosUS Affiliate, particularly in regard to their role as affordable housing developers.