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Author Topic: Lawmakers split over Asian data proposal  (Read 172 times)

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Online JA DU ( transracial)

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Lawmakers split over Asian data proposal
« on: February 14, 2018, 08:39:28 AM »
Lawmakers split over Asian data proposal

BOSTON -- Lawmakers have voted to replace a bill that would have required state agencies to gather more specific ethnic information on Asian-Americans with new legislation that proposes studying the collection of demographic data on all racial groups.
Sen. Dean Tran, R-Fitchburg, was the only member of the Legislature's Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight to vote against substituting the new legislation and attributed his decision to the divisive nature of the bill.

"I voted in dissent of H3361, because I believe in uniting the Asian community and not dividing us by the origin of our birth," Tran said in a statement. "I will continue to fight for equality on Beacon Hill."

Committee members overwhelmingly approved amending the original legislation to "establish a special commission to investigate and study the feasibility" of applying the same definitions of ethnic groups used by the U.S. Census Bureau to the state.
The original bill, sponsored by Rep. Tackey Chan, D-Quincy, proposed categorizing residents of Asian-American descent by their specific ethnicity and collecting separate data for the five largest Asian-American groups in the state.

Chan's initial legislation ignited a wave of opposition from community members who argue the bill is an attempt to legalize racial profiling. Proponents say more specific data would help equalize the distribution of funding across Asian-American groups, resulting in improvements in health and education.

Prior to Wednesday's vote, Tran expressed concern about the community's mounting opposition to the proposal in an interview.
Tran said his main issue with state agencies collecting specific demographic data is that it forces individuals of mixed race to choose a certain ethnicity they may not completely identify with.

He also questioned the necessity of collecting such data at the state level when it is already being done by the federal government through decennial census reports.
But Rep. Rady Mom, a Lowell Democrat, said before the committee's vote that he supports Chan's proposal because the state's current system, which only provides the option to identify as "Asian-American" instead of individual boxes for specific nationalities, denies vital services to certain Asian-American groups.
"It's basically saying that you're all the same when you say you're Asian," Mom said. "Because we are lumped into one, the distribution of funding is not fair at all. Lowell loses out so there are kids who don't have services ranging from schooling to busing or even lunches. And when it comes to health care it is even more disparate. We don't have the data that shows that."
Mom said he believes opponents' concerns stem from a fear that the bill will cause the ethnic discrimination Asian-Americans experienced throughout U.S. history to resurface.

"They're thinking about way back when we had war," Mom said. "We are now in the 21st century, where we do have the ability to speak to the government and be the voice for the citizens. This is not about fear, this is about bringing justice, bringing equality in terms of opportunity and funding to all of the citizens."
The topic is particularly relevant to Lowell, the city with the second-largest population of Asian-Americans in Massachusetts after Quincy, according to the 2010 federal census.

In a statement, Chan said he was "thrilled" at the prospect of a commission to further study the issue and welcomed the new bill's expansion to include all racial groups.
He also acknowledged opponents' criticisms of the legislation and pledged to "work diligently to address them in the next iteration of the bill."
"As a Chinese-American, I am intimately connected to the issue at hand and want to make it clear that I would never target or harm my own or any other community," Chan said.

According to a statement from committee co-chair Rep. Jennifer Benson, D-Lunenburg, the commission would consist of 11 members, including legislators, members of the governor's Advisory Commissions, appointees from the attorney general's Civil Rights Division, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office. 
The deadline to submit recommendations to the Legislature would be Dec. 31.


Read more: http://www.lowellsun.com/news/ci_31658646/lawmakers-split-over-asian-data-proposal#ixzz576LWJLc5

Online JA DU ( transracial)

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Re: Lawmakers split over Asian data proposal
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2018, 08:39:58 AM »
in short:

Indians , east Asians, south east Asians will be separated..

 
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