Proudly Uniting San Francisco’s Asian & Pacific Islander Communities

API Council is a 57-member coalition of nonprofit organizations in San Francisco that is building the voice, visibility and influence of San Francisco’s diverse Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

Asian and Pacific Islander communities have played a significant role in shaping San Francisco, continuously contributing to the city’s cultural, social, and economic development, as well as being a part of its diverse richness.  Today, Asians and Pacific Islanders are a third of the City’s population. We are a powerful cultural, economic, and civic force in San Francisco ‘s rich history and hopeful future.

But San Francisco’s Asian and Pacific Islander communities are hardly a monolith: we are made up of first generation immigrants and those whose families have been in San Francisco for generations,  we are the elders of the community and the next generation of youth, we speak many languages – English, Cantonese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Burmese, Cambodian and more.  Our communities are as nuanced and complex as the City itself, each bringing unique needs, strengths and cultural assets.

Yet, the unique needs of Asian and Pacific Islanders in San Francisco have too often been overlooked and misunderstood. That’s where API Council comes in. API Council formed in response to the budget crisis of the 2010s, to prevent proposed cuts in city funding for API-serving nonprofits. These  community leaders understood that the only way to secure resources for culturally-  and linguistically-appropriate community services is through collective action.  To date, API Council has secured over $90 million in resources to ensure our member organizations can best serve API communities and the broader needs of San Francisco families.

The Council advocates for the needs of the API community through data and research to highlight resource gaps  –  and the need for linguistically- and culturally-appropriate  programs to serve our multi-ethnic community. 

The Council’s members serve over 250,000 residents annually. Nearly 76 percent of the clients that API Council’s member organizations serve are immigrants and 90 percent are living below the poverty line. Our members ensure these diverse San Franciscans have the resources they need to thrive – like food, housing, healthcare, jobs, education and more. 

Our Mission

The API Council advocates for equitable resources that improve the quality of life for San Francisco’s underserved Asian & Pacific Islander residents.

API Council’s efforts have  allowed member organizations to collaborate to solve some of San Francisco’s most pressing issues.

We’ve brokered innovative collaborations that have:

  • Secured infrastructure to house services.
  • Increased senior housing through bond funding.
  • Enhanced equitable community open spaces in Chinatown and Japantown.
  • Supported the development and inclusion of API artists and cultural development with new funding initiatives.
  • Leveraged rent-relief programs to retain low-income housing. 
  • Designed a job training pilot that provided participants with a living stipend to increase financial security. 

We collaborate and partner not only with API-serving organizations, but a wide range of community groups serving diverse San Franciscans.  We seek full inclusion for our communities, and for all communities who for too long have been ignored and unheard. We operate in solidarity with multi-racial coalitions and efforts to achieve equity for all of San Francisco’s underserved communities.