Political Insitute Logo 2017

 The CAUSE Political Institute (CPI), is a five-month fellowship program that provides political skill training as well as public policy discussion on issues most pressing to APAs in California for high-potential working professionals who are interested in running for public office and/or individuals interested in learning how to effectively advocate for their communities.

Pasadena, CA

Trainings typically take place in Pasadena, CA in a roundtable setting.

5 Months

Fellows must be able to commit to attending all mandatory training sessions (February 2017 – June 2017). Additional readings and assignments will be required in between sessions to ensure an optimal learning experience.

Participation Fee

Each fellow is required to pay a $250 participation fee.


The CAUSE Political Institute (CPI) is a political leadership and advocacy training certificate program for high-potential professionals with seasoned leadership experience and a passion for serving the needs of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community in California. Participants complete the program armed with the skills, knowledge and network vital to advocate for the APA community and run for elected office.

CPI trainings consist of policy seminars, skill development workshops, intimate roundtable discussions with notable leaders, and group work. Training sessions and activities are led by a unique array of seasoned politicians, campaign professionals, and other civic and issue experts who will share their best practices and personal insights.

CPI is open to participants through a nomination-only process. Elected officials at the county, state, and federal levels are invited to look within their networks to identify and nominate two candidates per year for the program: one in public service, and one from the broader community. While this program is geared towards individuals pursuing public office, the program is also highly recommended for individuals desiring community leadership roles in the private and non-profit sectors.

The program was co-founded by CAUSE and USC Dornsife’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics to ensure a pipeline of political and civic leadership for the APA community.

Program Components


Our workshops are facilitated by some of the state’s most respected and leading professional / political experts. Fellows gain access to network with some of the region’s most respected leaders and establish a greater camaraderie with each other as well.

Public Policy Roundtables

CPI participants develop and refine their platform positions on key issue areas most pressing to APAs. Workshops are structured in a way to show participants how interconnected politics really is and how each policy decision impacts the entire scene of California.

 Skills-Based Training 

Fellows have the opportunity to strengthen their candidate toolkit during trainings. Skill-based training areas include: messaging, media, campaign law, campaign finance, and base-building training among more.

Meet the Fellows

Our program is highly selective and each member of our cohort is selected based on their leadership abilities, public service, and community involvement. All of our program fellows are identified and nominated by leading elected officials. Fellows are committed to acquiring the skills, knowledge, and connections vital to driving change and strengthening our communities.

Important Dates & Deadlines

Event Date
Application Opens Monday, November 21, 2016
Application Closes Sunday, January 15, 2017 , 11:59 PM PST
Nominations Due Sunday, January 15, 2017 , 11:59 PM PST
Political Institute Workshop #1 Saturday, February 11, 2017
Political Institute Workshop #2 Saturday, March 18, 2017
Political Institute Workshop #3 Saturday, April 22, 2017
Political Institute Workshop #4 Saturday, May 20, 2017
Political Institute Workshop #5 Saturday, June 17, 2017

What Our Alumni Say

  • "The CAUSE Political Institute was tremendously valuable in helping me gain insight on the challenges and opportunities of public service from leading political practitioners."

    The Honorable Thomas Wong President of the Board, San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District
  • "This is a great program to learn how to be an active agent in your community and not a passive bystander."

    The Honorable Henry Lo Boardmember, Garvey School District

 This program is generously supported by: