Leadership Institute Session #3

2019 CAUSE Leadership Institute

Monterey Park, CA – CAUSE held the third Leadership Institute session of 2019 at the SoCalGas Learning Center in Monterey Park.

The CAUSE Leadership Institute (CLI) is a community leadership and advocacy training certificate program for high-potential professionals with seasoned leadership experience and a passion for serving the needs of the APA community in California. Participants complete the program armed with the skills and connections vital to advocate for the APA community. Graduates of this program have gone on to change the civic landscape in the region through elected office and leadership roles in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Our program is highly selective and each member of our cohort is selected based on their leadership abilities, public service, and passion for community involvement. All of our program fellows are identified and nominated by leading elected officials, select nonprofit partner organizations, or a CAUSE Board Member.

Read more about this year’s Leadership Institute cohort here.

2019 CAUSE Leadership Institute

The session started off with a cohort check-in and team building activities to energize and center the group for the day’s activities led by CAUSE Executive Director Kim Yamasaki.


Next, Deputy Mayor William Chun introduced his work with the City of Los Angeles’s Economic Development Department. Deputy Mayor Chun largely covered how his team has positioned Los Angeles’s role in cutting edge technological advancements. His team has devoted lots of energy with regards to keeping the city up to speed with the current trends and developments of tech giants such as AirBnB & Uber. He shared that out of the total California GDP of $2.8 trillion, Los Angeles is responsible for 37% of it. If the city of Los Angeles were considered its own country, it would be the 16th largest economy in the world.

Betty Yee speaking to the 2019 CAUSE Leadership Institute

Next, the fellows had the chance to have an intimate discussion with California State Controller Betty Yee for a leadership roundtable discussion on how her role in state elected office has shaped her path to public service. She shared of her first foray into politics: when she had to speak before the City Council on behalf of four families in her San Francisco neighborhood in order to protect the local school bussing program. She closed by offering fellows advice and empowered them to continue their work in championing the APA community.

Jose Cornejo speaking to the 2019 CAUSE Leadership Institute

Lastly, the cohort participated in a Media Training led by Jose Cornejo, President & CEO, Cornejo Strategies. Jose has more than 25 years of experience lobbying and working at senior levels of state and local governments. He shared some advice when navigating one’s relationship with the media and understanding how to connect and work with press, emphasizing awareness of your surroundings, considering the optics, and practicing on message and delivery. After the main presentation, the fellows were invited to apply what they learned by engaging in a series of mock interviews designed to challenge their abilities to stay on message.

Audrey Soriano speaking to the 2019 CAUSE Leadership Institute

At the end of the session, the cohort came together for closing and debriefing activities as well as a discussion on their group project fundraiser. The session concluded with a presentation from CAUSE’s Manager of Leadership Development, Audrey Soriano, who modeled a journey map activity for the group to get to know one another better.