Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou Announces Assembly Passage of Asian American Data Disaggregation Bill

Niou bill would help understand and better serve Asian American communities in NY
June 22, 2017

Albany, NY - Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou released the following statement in response to the Assembly’s passage of her Asian American data disaggregation bill A7352:

“I am proud to announce the Assembly’s passage of the data disaggregation bill, which I sponsor. Just last month, I was joined by Speaker Heastie, Assembly member Kim, colleagues and advocates as we announced the formation of New York State’s first ever Asian Pacific American Legislative Task Force. This bill, which can help us gain a better understanding of the different challenges faced by Asian and Pacific American ethnic subgroups in New York, is vital in the Task Force’s efforts to improve the ways in which we serve our diverse communities.

“Given the anti-immigrant policies coming from the White House, it is critical that as a state we focus on supporting our many immigrant communities, and it is difficult to do that without understanding the actual makeup of these groups here at home. Data disaggregation allows us to gather information on the many Asian American ethnic subgroups in our state, giving us the opportunity to ensure that each individual has a voice, and that resources are targeted efficiently where needed. I look forward to working with my colleagues, advocates and the Asian Pacific American Legislative Task Force as we work to make New York a more inclusive place for our many Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.”

On Tuesday, June 20th, the New York State Assembly passed Niou’s data disaggregation bill, which requires the collection of certain demographic information by state agencies, boards, and commissions and strives to improve our understanding of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander communities in New York State.

"The many Asian Pacific American communities of New York have experienced incredible growth in the last few decades,” said Assemblyman Ron Kim. “Though some of our communities have shared traditions or connections based on geography or history, the overwhelming majority of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are members of distinct ethnic groups with their own language, ancestry, and culture. This bill recognizes the incredible diversity of this subset of New Yorkers, and lets our state collect separate data and information for each community, in order to help address the unique problems they face and better serve all New Yorkers. I thank all of my colleagues for working with Assembly member Niou and me on passing this legislation, and congratulate Assembly member Niou on successfully spearheading this bill in her very first year in office."

"Since Asian Americans are so diverse in different cultures and ethnicities, this bill can definitely help the government and other agencies to correctly allocate their resources to provide information and services to different Asian American groups,” said Jerry Shiao, President, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New York. “It can also help others to understand more about the difference among Asian Americans."

“The Chinese-American Planning Council would like to thank Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou for championing the diverse Asian American community and ensuring that New York State becomes more responsive to its fastest growing community,” said Wayne Ho, President & CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC). “We are delighted that the Assembly has passed A7352, which will ensure more accurate data is collected by State agencies. The Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community consists of over 30 ethnic groups which experience different social, economic, health, and educational issues. We hope that the Governor and Senate will similarly pass the legislation, ensuring that State resources will be effectively utilized for the most underserved.”

"The Asian Pacific American community is an integral part of New York. Yet little is known about the more than 40 different ethnic groups that comprise the APA community and the needs of our diverse communities. What we do know is that our needs exceed current levels of accessible services and supports. Often, when state agencies issue reports, APAs are not mentioned, or categorized simply as “Asian”, "Asian/Pacific Islander", or “Other”. This aggregation approach renders the different APA ethnic communities invisible and masks the unique social, educational, and economic difficulties in our communities. With the passage of A7352 through the Assembly, we are one step closer to dispelling the model minority myth and providing a better understanding of the real challenges facing New York's fastest growing population," said Anita Gundanna, Co-Executive Director of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families.

"Collecting and using disaggregated data is an essential step toward identifying disparities and addressing inequality amongst the Asian American community," said Christopher Kui, the Executive Director of Asian Americans for Equality. "I want to thank Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou for being a fierce champion of the cause and passing this important Assembly bill."

“The Asian American Federation applauds Assemblywoman Yuh-line Niou and the New York State Assembly for passing Assembly Bill A7352 which require state agencies that collect and report demographic data to begin to collect data on detailed Asian ethnicities,” said Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director at Asian American Federation. “With the increasing number and diversity among the Asian communities of New York State, detailed data on Asian ethnicities will enable the state to better meet the needs of those communities. Aggregated data for Asians as a whole hides the real needs of groups within the broad Asian population. For example, while Asian household may have higher median incomes than other households in New York, the poverty rates among Chinese, Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities were higher than all other households. We look forward to working with the Assemblywoman to move the bill forward in the State Senate.”

“I'm excited to see that Assembly Member Yuh Line Niou is making an attempt to improve the accuracy and reliability of the race and ethnicity data in the census in particular for Asian Americans who have been underrepresented in national studies, policy, and programs,” said Isabel Ching, Executive Director at Hamilton Madison House. “This new census data will lead to having positive impact for our communities deserving the fair share of funding.

“OCA-NY commends the passage of this bill as the new ethnic data collected will help reduce disparities in funding needs in many AAPI communities in New York," said David Fung from OCA-NY.