Championing API Issues

The API Council advocates on behalf of needs API community needs by analyzing public policy through an API lens and perspective, coordinating research and data collection, and mobilizing a citywide grassroots base.

The “model minority” myth unfortunately still exists for APIs. Recent data shows API residents of San Francisco experience high rates of poverty and unemployment, live in overcrowded housing, and are disproportionately affected by health disparities. The API population is also notably diverse. A&PI ethnic groups include Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Samoan. Over 70% of APIs speak another language than English in the household.

The API Council focuses its efforts on attaining equity for APIs in the following areas:

API Council Members Discussing Reform

Affordable Housing

Overcrowding is a persistent problem in San Francisco. Overcrowding is most severe in Chinatown (24.4%), and exceeds the citywide rates by nearly 5 times.


There is a lack of disaggregated data related to education and APIs. Local reports however indicate that Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander high school rates are high.


APIs have higher incidences of liver cancer, diabetes, tuberculosis, smoking, and alcohol use. APIs also have higher rates of gambling, suicide, depression and PTSD.


Approximately 416,000 unauthorized immigrants in California are Asian. APIs rank as the second-highest undocumented population in San Francisco: 10,000 undocumented individuals are from China; 2,000 are from the Philippines.


APIs comprise 42% of San Francisco residents living in poverty, and have the highest rates of increase in poverty rates than any other racial group.


Asian unemployment rates stood at 7.3%, while Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander rates stood at 14.2%, which are higher than San Francisco’s 5.4% unemployment rate.

Research & Data

There remains a shortage of research and data on API populations, and a lack of disaggregated data. This gap in data results in inaccurate portrayals of API communities. Read more in our report here.