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Regular Commission Meeting
Friday, September 6, 2024 11 AM to 1PM
Public is welcome.  To Attend, CLICK HERE

Our Vision:

We serve the people of Oregon to empower and support Asian and Pacific Islanders through our special roles as policy advisors to Oregon state policy makers and leaders. The OCAPIA is a catalyst that empowers partnerships between state government and our communities in rural and urban areas to ensure success for all Asian and Pacific Islander Oregonians by addressing issues at the policy level.   

Our Mission: 

The mission of the OCAPIA is to work for the implementation and establishment of economic, social, legal, and political equality for Asian and Pacific Islanders in Oregon and to maintain a continuing assessment of the issues and needs confronting Asian and Pacific Islanders. 

Our Principles and Values:

  • Equity for Asian and Pacific Islander Oregonians in jobs and the economy, education, health, safety, family stability, environment, and civic engagement.
  • Equal treatment and protection against discrimination.
  • Access to helpful information on services and available resources.
  • Working in partnership on research and policy analysis of longstanding issues and barriers to success within the API community statewide.
  • Inclusion of Asian and Pacific Islanders’ viewpoints in policy making at the state level.
  • Celebration of and education about the contributions and achievements of Asian and Pacific Islanders in Oregon.

Our Statutory Goals and Strategic Priorities

  • Advocate for equitable policies assuring the success of Asian and Pacific Islander Oregonians at the state level.
  • Engage community and state partners to promote equity for Asian and Pacific Islanders across Oregon.
  • Study and analyze issues affecting the Asian and Pacific Islander community statewide and recommend policy remedies to state policy makers.
  • Grow and develop leaders among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at the state level in all branches.
  • Increase the viability and visibility of the contributions and achievements of Asian and Pacific Islanders in Oregon.

Our Bylaws - CLICK HERE

OCAPIA is actively engaged in its statutory work focused on 7 Strategic Priorities each biennium:
  1. Education
  2. Jobs and the economy
  3. Healthcare
  4. Justice, safety and policing
  5. Stable families and housing
  6. Environmental Justice/Equity
  7. Civic engagement

View our Biennium Report:  CLICK HERE for 2021-23 Biennium Report

Meet the Commissioners

Executive Director, Micronesian Islander Community & Assistant Professor of Public Health, Linfield University. As a public health advocate with a background in policy and advocacy, Jackie utilizes an equity lens in with a policy perspective. She serves on boards and commissions, including maternal and child health, hunger, food insecurity, health equity, prenatal health, and Medicaid accessibility. While working toward her Ph.D. in public health & minors in ethnic studies and food and culture in social justice at Oregon State University, Jackie utilizes her law degree (from Willamette University) to help people navigate complex systems where citizenship status can present barriers.


Born Sang Tzun Phan (pronounced PAWN), Sam is a first-generation Asian-American. He is of Iu-Mienh descent, a minority group originating from China, and has lived in Portland his entire life. His family came to America as refugees of the Secret War. Throughout his life, he has continuously served his community directly which has led to him being a recipient of the Ford Family Foundation Scholars Scholarship. Sam attended the University of Oregon where he received a Bachelor’s in Political Science along with a Minor in Planning, Public Policy, and Management. Upon graduation, Sam worked at Trillium Family Services, a mental health non-profit for children and teenagers, as a Supervisor for their secure adolescent in-patient program. He then moved on to be a Program Coordinator for Multnomah County’s Legal Resource Center where he assisted self-represented litigants in their cases. While at Multnomah County Courthouse, he founded the Presence of Color Employee Resource Group, an employee resource group dedicated to becoming a strategic partner with the management of Multnomah County Circuit Court to promote a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion through continual learning, where he too served as the co-chair until he left to Oregon Emergency Management. Though he was only at OEM for a short time, he helped to finalize their Be 2 Weeks Ready Program and helped update their Community Emergency Response Team programs post-COVID pandemic. Currently, he works as a Legislative Aide for Oregon State Representative Thuy Tran and serves on the Iu Mien Association of Oregon board of directors. He also sits on the advisory council to the Asian Pacific Islander Family Center in Northeast Portland. In addition to this, he has also founded his own non-profit, Local Grown, and helped create accessible,  community-funded scholarships and DACA grants. 

Happy Valley

Joselito Tanega is the Program Manager for the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon (PACCO) where he oversees and coordinates several projects and strategic initiatives in the organization.

He has been the Board Chair for PACCO, and former Council Chair for the Leaders for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council (LEDIC) for Clackamas County.  Through PACCO, Joselito supported work with the Community Chamber Coalition of Oregon (now known as Community Economic Coalition or CEC) calling on state and local leaders to take immediate action to save small businesses during the pandemic; especially, historically marginalized communities.  And this work continues through an equitable lens.
In Clackamas County, Joselito’s work with LEDIC examines county processes to recommend and facilitate changes that foster equity of services and greater inclusiveness. His projects include working with the County’s Public Health Advisory Council in addressing racism as a public health crisis; consulting with the Climate Change Project and how DEI plays a role and collaborating with the County’s Office of Internal Audit in projecting future barriers for people of color in housing, health, transportation and employment.
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Joselito earned his music degrees from The Juilliard School (NYC).  He is a member of the Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon, Nonprofit Association of Oregon and a UN Online Volunteer.  After business hours, Joselito collects vinyl records, enjoys discovering the latest Korean spy movie and is an expert at playing the clarinet.  Joselito and his wife, Jeanette, live in Happy Valley with their children, Jackson and Luciana


President and CEO John D. Iglesias has provided executive leadership for financial institutions and credit unions for more than 28 years, including serving as president and chief executive officer of Northwest Community Credit Union since 2011; and president and chief executive officer of Salal Credit Union in Seattle (2008-11).

Other leadership roles have included serving as senior vice president and chief lending officer, Washington State Employees’ Credit Union; consumer loan product and indirect lending manager for Boeing Employees’ Credit Union (BECU); and in marketing and operational leadership roles with Bank of America, Seattle.

John also served in the U.S. Armed Forces and is a retired U.S. Navy intelligence officer. His education includes a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and an MBA from Saint Martin’s University. He is a graduate of the Credit Union Executive Society (CUES) Executive Leadership Institute.

He has also served on the boards of directors for Oregon Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America; Washington Business Week; Seattle Christian School; and Tiercel.

Born and raised on the beautiful tropical island of Guam, his interests include travel, hiking, golfing, shooting sports and biking in the Eugene-Springfield area where he lives with his family.​


​Lorne is a Japanese American and lifelong Oregonian who grew up in Corvallis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Pacific University and currently works for the Ironworkers Local 29 as the political coordinator. He is a passionate advocate for Registered Apprenticeship programs and for creating more pathways to family wage careers with the ability to retire with dignity for people of color.​

​Formerly an engineer and a lawyer, Aparna is a writer, speaker, agitator, and advisor at the confluence of movements for equity and justice and the outdoor, environmental, and conservation sectors. An Indian immigrant and mother, Aparna longs for an outdoor, environmental, and conservation movement that works for everyone. Aparna has made it her life's work to catalyze the radical reimagination of human relationships to land, water, and wildlife to center values of humility, interdependence, solidarity, intergenerational obligation, dignity, and reciprocity. Aparna writes, speaks, teaches, coaches, and facilitates workshops for the outdoor, environmental, and conservation community. She also holds space for Black, Indigenous, Latine, Asian, and other people of color in the sector. Aparna is founding partner of The Avarna Group and has spearheaded initiatives that amplify BIPOC outdoor and environmental voices, including Expedition Denali: Inspiring Diversity in the Outdoors and People of the Global Majority in the Outdoors, Nature, and the Environment. She serves on the board of the Living Oak Center for Applied Decolonization, Brown Girls Climb, and Dirt Maidens.

When not nerding out reading books on the topics such as the complex and intertwined histories of people and land, you can find her hiking, running, climbing, and biking in the homelands of the Kalapuya people, where she lives with her husband and son. Listen to more from Aparna on Rebooting Capitalism Ep #8: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with Ava Holliday and Aparna Rajagopal, co-founders of The Avarna Group, The Caroline Gleich Show Episode 30: Disrupting Implicit Bias in the Outdoors with the Avarna Group, and She Explores Episode 13: Diversity, "Beyond the Buzzword". Read more by Aparna at and her substack

Corvallis, OR

​Corvallis, Oregon, is the hometown of Padma Akkaraju. Akkaraju has advocated for educational equity, validation, and empowerment of underrepresented K-12 and higher education students for the last three decades. Her passion for equity and social justice shaped Akkaraju’s career path. Her multifaceted educational background includes a doctoral degree in applied physics and a master’s degree in education, specializing in educational equity.

Akkaraju serves the City of Corvallis as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator. Before joining the City of Corvallis, she focused on the access, success, and leadership development of underrepresented graduate, undergraduate, and K-12 students at the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Seattle University, and Oregon Schools. She developed a model for centering equity in individual and organizational development and applied the model to develop a training manual for the King County Bar Association, Seattle.

Akkaraju’s service to the community includes collaborations with families, the Corvallis Interfaith Council, and the School District Superintendent’s Office to facilitate the change for the inclusion of cultural and diverse belief systems in the middle school social studies curriculum and teaching. She participated in regional and national events as a volunteer High School Speech and Debate judge. At the county level, she served as a member of the Benton County Commission for Children and Families. Her current areas of interest include language access and accessibility to the Corvallis community.


Mickie Derting brings her lived experience of being an Asian American, first-generation immigrant, and a woman of color, as well as her diverse work experience in both the public and private sectors working within fast-paced start-ups to large corporations at both the local and global levels. 

For the past 13+ years, Mickie has worked in local government for three cities, reporting directly to the City Manager (public CEO) with a focus on high profile, high impact, and/or strategic initiatives like homelessness, emergency management, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility to name a few examples. In the private sector, she has 15+ experience with roles within the technology, media, and creative industries in the executive office, sales, and marketing. 

Mickie has a master’s in business with a focus on sustainability and its three pillars of environmental protection, social equity, and economic viability. Additionally, she received a certificate from former Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps training, where she gained an understanding of the relationship between the climate crisis and environmental justice.

She is grateful for the opportunity and privilege to elevate political, social, and economic issues of Asian and Pacific Islanders in Oregon and to advance equitable solutions.

Mickie is happily married to Jason and together, they have two horses, three dogs, and a barn cat. They live in Madras, Jefferson County.​


​Sy Kim is an International Program Manager of Northwest Community Credit Union (NWCU). Sy is responsible for developing new programs and businesses for developing our diverse communities and creating an accessible financial platform that will improve financial service experiences for underserved community members.

 From 2009-2018, Sy worked in Seoul, Korea where he had the opportunity to take part in many market development projects around the globe with the Hyundai Motor Group.​

Sy was born in Korea and first moved to the United States when he was six years old. From then on, he has gone back and forth between the two countries and have had the blessing to learn, work and live to fully experience both cultures. He holds a MS in New Media from Korea University and a BA in Media and Communications from University of Oregon.

 Sy currently serves as a board member for the Asian American Council of Oregon, the Korean American Chamber of Commerce in Oregon, the State of Oregon Translation Advisory Council, the Korean Society of Oregon, and the Korean War Memorial Foundation of Oregon.

 Sy's favorite activities are travelling and exploring and he has been to more than 20 countries around the world.  He is a family guy and spends most of his time besides work with his wife, Jennifer and two kids, Tayeon & Seongtae. On a daily basis he enjoys swimming, golfing, gaming, and reading.

Lake Oswego

Daniel is a son of Vietnamese refugees who came to the United States in 1975.  Daniel was born and raised in Camas, Washington. Daniel and his wife, with their entrepreneurial spirit, founded and operate Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen, located in the South Waterfront community since 2008. Daniel was elected to the Lake Oswego City Council in 2018, the first person of color elected to serve on City Council.

Daniel also serves presently as a community volunteer as a Director on several organizations boards -  Immigration Counseling Service Business for a Better Portland and Co-Chair of PCC School of Business & Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee.​

Portland, District 23
Michael Dembrow is the state senator for District 23, covering portions of NE and SE Portland and the city of Maywood Park. First elected by voters in 2008 to the state house, he is serving his first term in the senate after being appointed to the seat in November 2013.  Voters re-elected Michael to the senate in November 2014.
No stranger to public service, Michael is an English instructor at Portland Community College's Cascade campus in North Portland. He has been teaching writing and film studies at the college since 1981, and served as the President of the PCC faculty union for 16 years.  He continues to teach one or two classes per term when the legislature is not in session.
Michael earned his undergraduate degree in English from the University of Connecticut and his Master's degree in Comparative Literature from Indiana University. Michael and his wife Kiki have lived in District 23 for over 30 years. They have a son, Nikolai and a daughter, Tatyana and two grandchildren.  Michael is an avid runner and has completed the Portland Marathon multiple times.  He and Kiki are proud parents of two whippets.

Public Records Requests (PRR)

The Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office (OACO) responds to requests for public records in the general way described in the Oregon Department of Administrative Services' (DAS) Public Records Requests policy (pdf).

The DAS Public Records Requests Fees and Charges policy outlines the fees the department charges for records, and the process the agency uses to fulfill requests.

Please choose one of the following methods to request public records from OACO:
1. Email your request to Terrence Saunders, Interim Executive Director with "PRR" included in the subject line:


2. Mail a written request to this address:

Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office
PO Box 17550
Portland, OR 97217

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