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Represent API Communities


"It is time that our elected offices are reflective of the communities they serve and that members of the API community have a seat at the table."

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Nationally, the number of eligible API voters has increased by 9% since 2018, compared to 3% among all eligible voters.

The Asian-Pacific Islander Voter Engagement Project (AVEP) focuses on the factors around civil and political engagement or disengagement among the San Diego Asian-Pacific Islander (API) community.

This campaign largely focuses on communities such as Mira Mesa, Kearny Mesa, and University City. Surveying is the medium in which we collect information, and the API Voter Engagement Project will be tabling at local community events to encourage survey responses. The survey will be rolled out to assess levels of civic engagement among the API community and to determine why or why not the San Diego API community is connected with local organizing efforts.


During the 2021 San Diego City Council Redistricting process, we successfully pushed for higher University City to be moved into City Council District 6 to bolster the youth and API population.

However, our work isn't done. Bridging the youth and API community will be fundamental to the success of the new City Council District 6. Strengthening this bond through community-building, outreach, and educational activities will provide a strong core of civic engagement and local participation for District 6.


Civic engagement takes on many different forms, whether it be attending city hall meetings, signing petitions, or reaching out to local representatives. However, API community members are underrepresented in many of the avenues of political participation, if they are even given a seat at the table, to begin with. The API Voter Engagement Project would like to assess whether community members as they exist today feel empowered to be a vocal part of the community. Do folks feel that their vote matters in San Diego? Are their language needs being considered? Are API members of the community being overlooked by politicians? Perhaps taken for granted? These questions about civic engagement and the API community of San Diego are worth answering.


After all, API political representation has come a long way in San Diego. Over the last few years, API members of San Diego have been fighting for increased representation in local politics. Certainly, an example of this broad effort can be seen with the newly redrawn City Council District 6, which includes the communities of Mira Mesa, University City, and Kearny Mesa. Has the API community noticed these efforts? Do these changes encourage even more civic engagement from the community?

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In 2020, API voter turnout was up 26% since 2008.

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Despite improvements, 44% of eligible API voters remained unregistered in 2020.






Homes canvassed

People Surveyed

Hours worked

Staff members


1 Screening, 5 topics, 10 questions.

That's all to it.


  • Community Engagement

  • Identities and Voting

  • API Outreach and Presentation

  • Reflecting on Your Vote

  • Language Needs

Take the survey yourself and be part of our initiative!


Here are our goals laid out. 

  • Show up for the community

  • Build rapport with community members

  • Connect with community leaders

  • Collect 350 survey responses

  • Analyze and share survey results


Take a look at Sparky Mitra's, AVEP Project Director, launch video explaining how her team plans to engage with local API communities in the upcoming election. The video is posted on our Instagram (@ottaunited).


Our mission is dedicated to building your power in San Diego. We aim to connect youth to the API community in places of celebration via event participation and tabling. Thus far, we've worked on organizing youth throughout the redistricting process to champion not only youth voices but aim to build a stronger API district.

Sparky Mitra

Project Director

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Donovan Schipper

Project Coordinator

Benjamin Wang


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McKayla Sarmiento


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