California Turns Down Opportunity to Receive Federal Money to Disaggregate AAPI Data

Representative Judy Chu, who is among several lawmakers urging the State of California to apply for federal money for data disaggregation of AAPI demographic data.
Representative Judy Chu, who is among several lawmakers urging the State of California to apply for federal money for data disaggregation of AAPI demographic data.

Southeast Asian American and Pacific Islander advocates have said that data disaggregation is one of the core civil rights issues of our time. I believe this statement to be wholly true. I am also deeply frustrated that our legislators do little to prioritize the fight to disaggregate AAPI data, and reveal the deeply ingrained socioeconomic inequities that aggregated AAPI data mask.

It takes so little to disaggregate AAPI data. The cost to state and federal institutions are minimal, and the Census has already provided a clear road map for the kind of ethnic information that states can and should collect. Meanwhile, the payout for adding just a few more crosstabs to demographic data is astronomical: with disaggregated data, we can get a better sense of how certain AAPI groups are struggling, and what kinds of public policies should be enacted to best address those communities.

So, I need some help here: why the hell does data disaggregation still face such strong political resistance?

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