OAKLAND, Calif. – Today, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released the following statement disapproving California Governor Jerry Brown’s veto of data disaggregation legislation, Assembly Bill AB-176. The bill would have required that future collected data include specified ethnic categories for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AA and NHPI) in demographic information.

“Changes to the status quo can only be made when we have the facts and figures that provide an accurate picture of AA and NHPI communities,” said Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF president and CEO. “AA and NHPI communities often become invisible in data collection, and in diverse places like California, disaggregated data is essential to providing resources to the communities that need them. We are deeply disappointed in the Governor’s veto decision, but will continue working for data disaggregation on local, state, and national levels.”

In a veto message to the California State Assembly, Governor Brown called the legislation “unnecessary, or at least premature.” California’s current demographic information specifies the Asian categories of Chinese, Japanese, and Indian. The bill would have included at least the following groups: Bangladeshi, Hmong, Indonesian, Malaysian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Taiwanese, Thai, Fijian, and Tongan. The current combination of data fails to provide an accurate picture of the more than 50 different ethnic groups comprising AAs and NHPIs. In addition, failing to disaggregate data largely ignores the broad range of education, health disparities, economic achievement, per capita income, and poverty rates present in AA and NHPI communities. APAIHF is committed to accurate data collection of all AA and NHPI groups, and will continue working to establish more robust data disaggregation in California.