National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Urges Support for Data Disaggregation Bill

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MARCH 23, 2016

 Contact: Mary Tablante;

 (202) 706-6768;

 

mary@ncapaonline.org

   

National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Urges Support for Data Disaggregation Bill

The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) is a coalition of 35 national organizations that provides a voice for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. Many of our member organizations also have local chapters and community-based organization networks, including throughout California, and NCAPA advocates for data disaggregation in all areas, to ensure that our communities’ diversity is adequately understood and informs effective public policy.

NCAPA strongly supports the Accounting for Health and Education in Asian Pacific Islander Demographics (AHEAD) Act (AB 1726), which would require California’s public higher education and certain health care agencies to collect and release disaggregated demographic data. We greatly appreciate the leadership of Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) on the re-introduction of this legislation and the support of the California API Legislative Caucus. Their tireless efforts—working with and consulting our communities for years—will ensure that this bill addresses the disparities and concerns of the AAPI community.

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders would clearly benefit from the AHEAD Act,” said NCAPA National Director Christopher Kang. “Stereotypes that we are a “model minority” stem from a lack of disaggregated data, which masks the disparities in our communities. Access to such data is an especially important—and necessary—first step in providing AAPIs with equal opportunity to quality education and equal access to health and other resources that account for the cultural and linguistic diversity of our communities. Claims that data disaggregation would harm our communities or put us at risk are misguided at best. The real harm is not acknowledging the challenges and disparities within our communities and not working to address them.”

California has the largest Asian American population in the country, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest-growing racial/ethnic populations in the state. AAPIs are a diverse community, and disaggregated data is needed to understand the economic, health and educational disparities within our communities. Without it, we are ignoring the diversity of our communities and leaving behind those who are experiencing high poverty rates or low educational attainment.

For example, based on U.S. Census data, while 12% of Asian Americans in California live in poverty, the rate is much higher for some ethnicities, including 35% of Hmong, 28.8% of Cambodians, 23.5% of Laotians, and 17% of Vietnamese. Disaggregated data in a 2014 Asian Americans Advancing Justice report shows that University of California admission rates for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders was 62% compared to the average of 72%, with further disaggregation showing only 42% of Tongans and 54% of Samoans gain admission.

With respect to health, AAPIs are disproportionately affected by obesity, certain types of cancer, diabetes, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, mental illness, substance use, and domestic violence. Disaggregated health data of AAPIs is important to identify, surveil, and address these health disparities.

The collection and release of disaggregated data will shed light on our gaps in access and equity. In turn, data-driven interventions will help us better use tax dollars and government resources, uplifting our communities in education and health. California has played an integral part in efforts to disaggregate data for our communities, and the AHEAD Act is another step forward for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

A broad coalition of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders stands in solidarity for data disaggregation. More than 50 community groups agree: we deserve a fair count.

 

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Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 35 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.

 


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