Guest post by Medha Ghosh, Health Policy Coordinator, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families
On December 23, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul signed the NYS Bill S6639/A6896 on Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AA and NH/PI) data disaggregation into law.
This law mandates that all State agencies, departments, boards, and commissions that already collect demographic data must now collect data on the top ten most populous AA ethnic groups and specific NH/PI ethnic groups of New York State along with data on languages spoken. The law also specifies that such government entities must release such data to the public on an annual basis. This huge victory in the fight for better data for all was only made possible by over ten years of persistent advocacy by CACF and CACF’s members and partners!
Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the distinctive struggles faced by our AA and NH/PI communities in New York. While State and City public health data failed to show the disparities experienced by these communities, independent studies showed how Chinese Americans had the highest rates of COVID-related death and South Asian Americans the highest rates of COVID-related hospitalization in New York City. Disaggregated data will allow state officials and community organizations to better serve all communities through this ongoing public health emergency and beyond.