The fight isn't over yet, we still need Governor Brown to sign the bill. If you would like HIP to send a letter of support (see sample below) on your behalf, please fill out the form.
Dear Governor Brown;
I am writing to sincerely ask you to sign Assembly Bill 1726 by Assemblymember Rob Bonta into law. AB 1726 would shed light on health disparities within Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and ensure that our communities receive the services and support they need.
As Governor, you have established a strong precedence of valuing evidence based practices and making sound public policy decisions. In that same spirit, AB 1726 will provide the Department of Public Health with data and wisdom on how to allocate taxpayer dollars efficiently and effectively to serve communities that need resources the most.
Asian American and Pacific Islanders are made up of more than 50 diverse ethnic groups. When data clumps us all under “Asian,” it can overshadow the specific challenges faced by Southeast Asian American, Pacific Islanders and refugee communities. In California, the economic, health, and educational data of 5 million Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander and families is not accurately collected to reflect their unique challenges. As such, state agencies are not equipped to address the needs of California’s increasingly diverse population.
For example, one of the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) primary program areas focuses on providing comprehensive public health education about chronic diseases like diabetes. This is an important program for all Californians but in particular, AAPI communities as research conducted by the American Diabetes Association has shown that Pacific Islanders, Asian Indians and Filipinos have higher rates of diabetes compared the general population, other races and other Asian subgroups. Unfortunately, the lack of disaggregated data prevents administrators and policy makers from assessing the impact their programs have on communities who suffer from the highest prevalence of diabetes. AB 1726 makes it possible for CDPH to more effectively deploy its resources to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities.
Finally, we recognize your stated reservations about further stratifying communities. Unfortunately, stratification is already taking place in the growing health disparities and negative health outcomes that undermine the quality of life for different Asian American and Pacific Islander subgroups. Moreover, while we agree with your belief that “focus on just ethnicity may not be enough;” the absence of ethnicity data makes for poor public policy and harms communities who need the most support.
Thank you for your consideration of our communities and I urge you to sign AB 1726.