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Tuesday June 7, 2022 — California Primary Election
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Local

City of San DiegoCandidate for City Council, District 6

Photo of Kent Lee

Kent Lee

Nonprofit Executive Director
10,390 votes (37%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Housing attainability with a focus on middle-income housing
  • Deliver responsive government services by tackling deferred maintenance and ensuring investments in street repairs, supporting local libraries, and updating parks
  • Create a better economic climate for small businesses and job creation by promoting local hiring, stability, and economic growth

Experience

Experience

Profession:Nonprofit Executive Director
Executive Director, Pacific Arts Movement (2016–current)
Executive Board Member, Mira Mesa Community Planning Group — Elected position (2013–current)
Director of Development & Marketing, District Director & District Executive, Boy Scouts of America, San Diego-Imperial Council (2007–2016)

Education

University of California, San Diego Bachelor of Science (B.S.), General Biology (2007)
University of California, San Diego Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Economics (2007)

Community Activities

Treasurer, Asian Business Association of San Diego (2014–current)
National Treasurer/Board Member, Alpha Phi Omega, a collegiate community service organization (2015–2022)
Founder & Co-Chair, San Diego Asian Pacific Islander (API) Coalition (2020–2022)
Executive Board Member, Mira Mesa Community Planning Group (2013–current)
Board Member, Chancellor’s Community Advisory Board, UC San Diego (2017–current)

Biography

As a father, husband, and first-generation Asian American, Kent’s life has been driven by a commitment to service and community.

Kent’s parents and their families came to the United States in search of a better life. His father arrived with his family with just $20 between them, and launched an entrepreneurial career from which he learned as much from his failures as his successes. His mother was a lifelong garment worker who traveled hours each day to and from work -- often missing out on dinner with the family.

Their challenges helped shape Kent’s belief that life has always been about more than what each of us can accomplish for ourselves. It’s about what we choose to do when we have the opportunity to serve and to give in return.

At a young age, Kent became involved with an American Red Cross youth program, opening his eyes to the power of service and providing him his earliest leadership roles. Kent came to San Diego to study at UC San Diego, where he met his wife, Phuong, as part of Alpha Phi Omega, a national collegiate service organization. As a student, he volunteered weekly in support of organizations like Mama’s Kitchen and the San Diego Rescue Mission, and he established an ongoing partnership with the Boys and Girls Club in Clairemont.

Upon graduation, Kent dedicated his life to serving his community. Starting with the local Boy Scouts of America, Kent quickly rose to serve as the chief financial and development executive, managing a budget of more than $5 million. In that time, Kent worked extensively with community volunteers, parents, families, and schools throughout San Diego, planning day camps, coordinating annual “Scouting for Food” drives, and working to foster meaningful leadership development for more than 20,000 youth throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties. Many of his years were dedicated to serving families in District 6.

Today, Kent is the executive director of Pacific Arts Movement (Pac Arts), one of the largest media arts organizations in North America focusing on Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander cinema.

Pac Arts is best known for presenting the San Diego Asian Film Festival, which celebrates its 22nd edition this fall. Pac Arts serves as a leading voice in multicultural storytelling through media arts, youth education, and culinary programs representing AAPI communities. Under Kent’s leadership, Pac Arts broadened its culinary programs to showcase many of the best Asian American chefs throughout San Diego.

Kent’s extensive volunteer service includes deep involvement with the Asian Business Association of San Diego, supporting small businesses, and leading the effort to combat the alarming rise in anti-Asian hate through the San Diego Asian Pacific Islander Coalition, where he served as a founder and co-chair. In light of many recent events, Kent has advocated fervently for action not only in support of API communities -- but for all marginalized communities who are impacted by racism, hate, and violence.

Kent also serves in various capacities for organizations including the Mira Mesa Community Planning Group, advocating for the smart development of our neighborhoods, UCSD’s Chancellor’s Community Advisory Board, International Deaf Education, Advocacy and Leadership, and Alpha Phi Omega.

Residents of Mira Mesa for over 15 years, Kent and his wife Phuong have two young children – Alynna and Oliver – as well as their dog Lucky.

Who supports this candidate?

Elected Officials (28)

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PUBLISHING: SERVER:PRODUCTION