Table Staff

Jonathan Paik

Executive Director

Jonathan Paik (JP) strives to transform Orange County by steering the collective power of local communities through organizing and civic engagement.

In 2015, JP organized Asian American and Latinx communities to challenge cities like Fullerton to transition from at-large to district elections, uplifting the voices of traditionally marginalized voters of color around issues like health care, housing, immigration, and education. In 2017, he helped organize young people to participate in national actions in Washington DC to demand passage of the DREAM Act from their local representatives. He was also involved in ballot measure campaigns in 2016, 2018 and 2020 that advanced critical economic and racial justice issues and congressional and county sheriff campaigns to promote bold new leadership in the region.

JP also currently serves on the board of the Alliance for Youth Action, a national youth network of civic engagement organizations that grow progressive people power across America by empowering local young people’s organizations to strengthen democracy, fix the economy, and correct injustices through on-the-ground organizing. 

Before joining OCCET as Executive Director in 2019, he was Executive Director of the Korean Resource Center and KRC in Action, staffed numerous political campaigns, and worked as the Development and Operations Coordinator through the Bus Federation Civic Fund. JP is a graduate of UC Irvine with a degree in Political Science.

Dan Ichinose

Research Director

Dan has over 20 years experience leading research efforts using census, voter, and other data to address problems facing our communities. He is an expert in both census policy issues and census data and led the production of dozens of reports using disaggregated data to better understand and articulate the needs of low-income communities. He is a veteran of two statewide redistricting campaigns, working with stakeholders throughout California to construct the Asian American and NHPI community’s first statewide redistricting proposal in 2001 and the state’s first majority Asian American legislative district in 2011.

Dan was formerly Director of the Demographic Research Project at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, where he oversaw its Census Information Center (CIC) and was Vice-Chair of the U.S. Census Bureau’s CIC Steering Committee. He holds a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Nara Kim

Operations Coordinator

Jazzmin Mercado

Campaign Manager

Jazzmin Mercado is a proud Ecuadorian womxn and mother that graduated from The University of California, Long Beach with a BA in Sociology. She started in civic engagement through Turning the Tide, a collaborative of youth of color that led congressional races in Orange County. She also developed a youth aimed six-month curriculum that builds leadership and awareness through the issues of education, housing, health, immigration, gender, and sexuality.

She is currently providing support for OCCET’s field and civic engagement strategy, coordinating programs that include voter mobilization and GOTV efforts, community education, leadership development, and community organizing.

Lisa Liu

Data Strategist Coordinator

Lisa was organized by her friend to join a youth program in Orange County and started as a volunteer to help register youth voters in different college campuses. As she became more involved with the work in 2016, she learned to create data reports and navigate voter databases. In the past three years, she coordinated field data with the campaign leads during each election cycle, and developed skills to manage organization’s CRM database at KRC.

She is currently managing OCCET’s database and voter file, including creating field reports and research reports for partnered organizations. In order to build and increase partners’ data capacity, she also provides data related training to partners.

Rafael Vera

Field and Civic Engagement Coordinator

Yongho Kim

Special Projects Consultant

Yongho is providing design, IT, paper mailing, CiviCRM/PowerBase database adoption, press, translation, website and online outreach capacity to OCCET’s Integrated Voter Engagement programs.

Over the course of 20 years, Yongho was involved with Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (MIV), Bus Riders Union, NAKASEC, Korean Resource Center, Centro de Derechos Laborales and Latinx student group ¡Adelante! through community organizing, social service, communications, and web and data infrastructure. He coordinated local groups’ adoption of the California VoterConnect VAN voter database in 2007 through MIV and provided data analysis expertise to the Korea Times, National CAPACD and the City of Whittier.

Yongho studied Cultural Anthropology at Macalester College in Minnesota. Living in a family of missionary parents, he went to elementary and high school in Chile.