Our Team

Our Team

Jonathan Paik | Executive Director
America Monje | Finance and Administration Director


Jazzmin Mercado | Campaign Manager
Rafael Vera | Field and Civic Engagement Coordinator


Alejandra Ramírez-Zárate | Policy Director
Daisy Chávez | Policy Analyst


Dan Ichinose | Research Director
Lisa Liu | Data Strategist Coordinator
Yongho Kim | Special Projects Consultant

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 OC Action 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.


America Monje

Finance and Administration Director


America graduated from the University of Colorado, Denver, where she majored in Political Science. During her college years, America interned at the Colorado Public Interest Research Group, where she actively participated in grassroots campaigns and provided assistance in various capacities.

Prior to moving to California, America worked at M&M and Sons trucking company, where she handled administrative and bookkeeping responsibilities, contributing to the smooth functioning of the company’s operations.

America’s professional experience includes serving as a Political Accounts Supervisor at Kaufman Legal Group, APC. In this role, she worked closely with candidates, elected officials, political committees, and non-profit organizations, managing their bank accounts and ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local campaign finance laws.

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 OC Action’s field and civic engagement strategy, coordinating programs that include voter mobilization and GOTV efforts, community education, leadership development, and community organizing.


Rafael Vera

Field and Civic Engagement Coordinator


Alejandra Ramírez-Zárate

Policy Director

Alejandra Ramirez-Zarate is a civil rights leader dedicated to achieving more significant racial and economic equity for communities of color. She currently serves as the Policy Director for OC Action where she leads policy advocacy research and development to create structural change that can lead to more equitable outcomes for low-income people of color. Alejandra facilitates coalitions, engages in policy analysis, and conducts research that is grounded in the priorities of impacted communities.

Alejandra previously served as Policy Director and Campaigns Manager for Chispa, an organizing program of the League of Conservation Voters. In this capacity, she led democracy and climate advocacy to create healthier environments for people of color disproportionately impacted by climate change and worked to increase government responsiveness to their needs. Formerly, Alejandra also served as a Senior Policy and Research Analyst for Catalyst California’s democracy team. In partnership with community-based organizations, she supported the long-term power-building goals of grassroots partners that resulted in notable successes. These include establishing the We Count L.A. Census Table (a collaborative network of nearly 200 organizations and government entities); supporting the California Census Policy Advocacy Network, helping secure an investment of $187 million for the state’s 2020 Census campaign; advocating for the creation of a California Office of Racial Equity; co-leading the People’s Bloc coalition, and leading local redistricting efforts across Los Angeles County; and encouraging the City of Los Angeles to establish an Office of Civic Engagement by co-authoring “Making Public Participation Equitable: Recommendations for an
Office of Civic Engagement in Los Angeles

Alejandra is a proud immigrant from Jutiapa, Guatemala, and grew up in the San Fernando Valley in the Greater L.A. region. She received her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in political science from California State University, Northridge. Alejandra enjoys traveling with her family, dancing bachata and cumbia, coaching basketball, and spending time with her children.


Daisy Chávez

Policy Analyst

Daisy joined OC Action’s policy team in August of 2023 as a policy analyst. Her journey into the policy space began when she participated in Initiate Justice’s “Institute of Impacted Leaders” cohort in the spring of 2019, where she was introduced to organizing & legislative advocacy in order to bring her incarcerated loved ones home.

Previously, Daisy served as the Statewide Advocacy Manager at Initiate Justice, an organization that seeks to dismantle the carceral system by empowering people directly impacted by it to enact policy change. While at Initiate Justice, Daisy was involved in leading efforts to restore voting rights for over 50,000 people on parole in the state of CA. The campaign, later known as Prop 17, passed by the highest margin of all propositions on the November 2020 ballot.

Daisy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology, Law & Society from UC Irvine. She is the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants hailing from the state of Puebla. Daisy grew up in the city of Orange and moved to Anaheim in 2004, where she continues to reside today. She previously served on the City of Anaheim’s Police Review Board and is passionate about organizing and advocacy at the local level to transform Orange County into an equitable place for all. In her free time, Daisy enjoys spending time with her two perrhijos (peh-ree-hohs; male dog children), Angel and Archie.


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.


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 OC Action’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.


Yongho Kim

Special Projects Consultant

Yongho is providing design, IT, paper mailing, CiviCRM/PowerBase database adoption, press, translation, website and online outreach capacity to OC Action’s campaigns.

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.