california governor signs bill requiring accurate data collection on aapi ethnicities

Success. On Sunday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1088 into law, requiring key state agencies to collect and post information about job programs participation, employment and housing discrimination, and other disparities faced by Asian and Pacific Islander ethnicities.

The new law requires the Department of Industrial Relations and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to disaggregate and include the full spectrum of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander ethnicities in their data collections. Here's more information from APALC's press release:
"We are extremely pleased that Governor Brown signed AB 1088 into law," said Assemblymember Eng. "Asian Americans, as well as Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, represent over 30 ethnicities, and each community experiences its own unique challenges. Because information about these communities is frequently reported under one or two large categories, the experiences of specific ethnicities can be masked, preventing policy-makers, advocates, and elected officials from understanding the real issues that affect our communities. With this passage, the Governor recognizes the disparities within the Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander communities, and the role that the State of California has in addressing these issues."

Current law already requires the collection and disaggregation of some Asian and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander groups, such as Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and Samoan. However, many emerging ethnic groups are not included in the law, and there are no mechanisms in place to respond to growth in populations. AB 1088 requires that data collected by the California Department of Industrial Relations and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing be disaggregated using the same categories used by the Census Bureau, including Bangladeshi, Fijian, Hmong, Indonesian, Malaysian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Taiwanese, Thai, and Tongan. In addition, the data would also be made more accessible online.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted information about an online petition in support of the bill. Big props to our friends at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, who co-sponsored the bill with Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality and Asian and Pacific Islanders California Action Network. Nice work, and a solid victory for California's diverse and rapidly growing AAPI community.

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