About Us

Our Mission

Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan, community-based organization with a mission to advance the political and civic empowerment of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through nonpartisan voter outreach, training, and education as well as leadership development.

Founded in 1993, CAUSE is comprised of committed professional, business, community and political leaders, and has established itself as a unique nonpartisan APA organization dedicated solely to APA civic and political participation. Based in the Greater Los Angeles area, CAUSE’s influence reaches throughout Southern California.

VOTE

We want our community to vote.
By making sure the community has a reliable means to register to vote in culturally relevant ways, we elevate the voices and needs of our community.

PARTICIPATE

We want our community to participate.
We’re making sure that our community is informed and educated about the matters and issues affecting them.

LEAD

We want our community to lead.
We’re developing the next generation of political and civic leaders. CAUSE’s work ensures young people have the tools they need to lead our democracy for generations to come.

Officers

Chair

Charlie Woo

Megatoys

Vice Chair

Wen Hong

PAC-RIM Advisory, LLC

Legal Counsel

Kenneth K. Lee

Jenner & Block LLP

Secretary

Ben Wong

Industry Manufacturers Council

Treasurer

James Hsu

Squire Patton Boggs

Board of Directors

Gary H. Arakawa

Covington Capital Management

Ralph Barnes
Beverly Center

Edward Chen
Veulion Group

Sandra Chen Lau
Trans-adaptive Philanthropy

Larry Chung
Strategies 360

Wendy Greuel
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority

Victor King

California State University of Los Angeles

Adam Ma

SoCalGas

Nita Song

IW Group, Inc.

Tammy Tran

Southern California Edison

Ron Wong

Imprenta Communications Group

Robert Yap

TruConnect

Kenny Yee

Imuarock Ventures

Staff

Kim Yamasaki

Executive Director

Kim Yamasaki is the Executive Director of the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE). In her position, Kim manages and oversees the entire organization, including its staff, programs, and fundraising efforts. Kim is passionate about finding creative and innovative ways to appeal to the younger generation of future community leaders and voters.

Prior to CAUSE, Kim gained valuable work experience through internships and work with CAUSE, US Congressmember Judy Chu, the US House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Imprenta Communications Group, and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. She is a proud CAUSE Leadership Academy alumnus.

She has been featured in news articles and stories on NBC, KCRW, the Rafu Shimpo, World Journal, and was named one of the top sixty California Influencers to comment on important issues affecting the state by the Sacramento Bee and other McClatchy newspapers.

Kim was born and raised in Los Angeles. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and a minor in Asian Languages (Korean) from UCLA. She serves on the Board of Directors for Kizuna, a local nonprofit organization for Japanese American youth empowerment, and the Community Advisory Council for SoCalGas.

Adam Hsu

Director of Programs

As Director of Programs, Adam is responsible for the development, management, and delivery of CAUSE’s leadership development programs. He is proud to support the civic education and empowerment of our community through the organization’s programs and partners.

Prior to joining CAUSE, Adam served as a Field Representative at the Office of California State Assemblymember Ed Chau where he maintained the relationships with its constituency and community partners to promote community engagement, input, and access to government at all levels. In this capacity he served as a liaison for the constituents of the 49th Assembly District and their elected representative in the State Assembly, often attending community events and meetings on his behalf. There, he was responsible for event development, marketing and outreach, community relations, and the internship program.

Adam is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies & Economics with a focus on Western Europe.

Haidee Pan

Director of Marketing & Communications

As Director of Marketing & Communications, Haidee manages CAUSE’s branding, content creation, and general marketing/communications strategy. She hopes to see an increase in political awareness and activism among Asian Pacific Americans and is excited to be part of the CAUSE team’s work in contributing to the empowerment of the APA community.

Before joining CAUSE, Haidee took on contract opportunities, including visual design and consulting work for a variety of startups in the Bay Area. She has not only done branding and front-end web design for her clients, but has also offered consulting in UI/UX and online marketing strategies.

Haidee received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2016, during which she was a Marketing VP and Advisor for Innovative Design, an on-campus design organization.

Miko Jao

MANAGER OF VOTER ENGAGEMENT

As Manager of Voter Engagement, Miko manages all of the organization’s voter engagement programs. He is passionate about empowering the APA community through arts, education, and leadership development.

Prior to joining CAUSE, Miko served as the Founding President of UniPro Texas (Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc.), where he established an organizational structure in order to engage his community through collaboration, advocacy, and education. There, he was responsible for managing the programming, marketing, human resources, and finance departments. Miko was also an EPYC Ambassador (Empowering Pilipino Youth through Collaboration), an intern for FANHS Houston (Filipino American National Historical Society), and a Region Head for NaFFAA (National Federation of Filipino American Associations).

Miko was born in New York and raised in Houston. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Government and a minor in Latin from Houston Baptist University. He is currently the Community Outreach Chair for UniPro Texas and an EPYC Coach.

Audrey Soriano

Programs Coordinator

As Programs Coordinator, Audrey is responsible for implementing and supporting CAUSE’s leadership development programs. She also provides key operational support to ensure a high standard of efficiency and effectiveness for the organization. She is excited to work with CAUSE in its efforts to educate and inform the APA community through political and civic empowerment.

Before CAUSE, Audrey gained work experience through internships and fellowships with the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles and Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez. Her work within the Filipino American community as Regional Field Director for the AD51 campaign for State Assembly inspired her to continue empowering political participation and civic engagement within the Asian Pacific American community.

Audrey graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Policy from Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles.

Richard Park

Development & Administrative Coordinator

As Development & Administrative Coordinator, Richard is responsible for CAUSE’s fundraising events and initiatives. He also provides key operational support to ensure a high standard of efficiency and effectiveness for the organization. He is excited to work with CAUSE in its efforts to educate and inform the APA community through political and civic empowerment.

Before CAUSE, Richard gained experience through internships on campaigns and at district offices. He worked at Senator Ben Allen’s office, as well as being involved in the Jesse Gabriel for Assembly campaign.

Richard graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor’s in Political Science.

History

Founded in 1993 as Chinese Americans United for Self Empowerment to promote civic and political participation in the Chinese American communities, CAUSE expanded its mission to serve the larger Asian Pacific American (APA) communities in 2003; thus, becoming Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment.