Bill (SB 1016) to Disaggregate Health Data for Latine and Indigenous Communities in California, Reintroduced
Co-Sponsors and Supporters to host a virtual campaign launch on February 27th, 10:00AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Adriana Mandujano
Communications Associate, MICOP
Telephone: (805) 978-2532
(Sacramento, CA) – On Monday, February 5th, 2024, Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) reintroduced The Latine and Indigenous Disparities Reduction Act, SB 1016. The bill aims to uncover health and related disparities by requiring state departments to collect and disaggregate more detailed data for Latine and Indigenous Mesoamerican populations in California.
The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that over 1 in 4 Americans are likely to be Latino by 2060 – with ever growing ethnic and language diversity within the population, it is critical that the state with the largest Latine population understand the diversity of this community. Additionally, the United States is also home to more than 20,000 Indigenous language speakers, of which the largest population resides in California. Detrimentally, state systems currently do not collect specific data on this demographic. This bill would require departments to anonymously collect more specific race, ethnicity and language data for these groups.
“Latinos make up 40% of the California Population. They are among the most culturally, linguistically, and racially diverse populations in the United States and have diverse health outcomes. However, the state continues to treat this population as a monolith and ignores the different health and life outcomes of Latino subgroups based on their differences in ethnicity, culture, and language,” said Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-33).“SB 1016 takes the critical and necessary first step to uncover trends and potential disparities that are often hidden in aggregated numbers for Latinos and Indigenous Mesoamericans in California.”
A similar effort moved unanimously through the legislature last year, but was vetoed by Governor Newsom. In the Governor’s veto message he punted the responsibility to the federal government who is currently updating race and ethnicity standards, stalling California’s own ability to create more just and transparent data standards specific to the needs of our state.
“The COVID-19 pandemic exemplified how critical data is to achieve health equity. While California has taken bold steps towards achieving universal healthcare, we don’t yet have adequate data to fully understand 40% of the California population. It behooves us to build the infrastructure needed to better reach and serve our Latine and Indigenous Mesoamerican communities. Without the data, it’s nearly impossible for decision makers to adequately prioritize equitable funding for solutions to new and ongoing health crises,” said Dr. Seciah Aquino, Executive Director for the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, “California has never been one to wait for Washington. With current political uncertainty at the federal level, it’s more important than ever to take decision-making into our own hands and ensure justice for our Indigenous Mesoamerican and Latine communities.”
As a leader on issues of healthcare access, mental health services, and reproductive rights, California stands to benefit from more detailed ethnicity, race and language data to more effectively allocate state resources to meet the needs of these populations. SB 1016 offers detailed ethnicity and language data to fund programs and protect its legacy of progress on health; it is imperative we do it in an equitable and sustainable manner. It is imperative to have specific data on the health outcomes and needs of ALL Californians.
“Mesoamerican Indigenous communities are often forced to identify as “Latino,” which erases our identity as the First People of this continent. Mexico has 68 Indigenous ethnic groups with their own unique languages, and these indigenous languages are spoken in schools, homes, and workplaces across California. Our language and ethnicity are integral parts of our heritage, identity, and power as a people and community. We look forward to working on passing this important legislation to finally be counted,” states Arcenio J. Lopez, Executive Director of the Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP).
“Having data about indigenous people in California will bring visibility to our communities, often invisibilized by the dominant Latino narrative, that labels us under one umbrella and does not take into account the many languages, backgrounds, and traditions. If we don’t exist in the numbers, we don’t exist at all,” said Odilia Romero, Executive Director for Comunidades Indigenas en Liderazgo (CIELO).
“SB 1016 is the first approach at the State level that attempts to capture our presence, not as Latinos or Hispanics, but as First Nations. Disaggregating data is a crucial step for agencies to learn about the cultural and linguistic diversity of the communities they serve and a first step to ensure that they are working to respect the fundamental right of individuals to receive information and services in the language they understand and prefer,” said Dr. Sarait Martinez, Executive Director for Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indigena Oaxaqueño (CBDIO)
Upcoming Virtual Forum:
We invite you to join us at the Latine and Indigenous Disparities Reduction Act Virtual Bill Launch happening on February 27th, 2024 beginning at 10:00AM. The event will feature elected officials, co-sponsors, and partners from Community based Organizations, coming together to inform and answer questions from community based partners, legislators, and press. Register for the event here: Bit.ly/SB1016Launch
The bill is co-sponsored by the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC), Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño (CBDIO), Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP) and Comunidades Indígenas en liderazgo (CIELO). Last year the bill received support from more than 60 community based organizations across California.
Senator Gonzalez represents the 33rd Senate District, which includes the City of Long Beach and portions of South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles including the cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, Signal Hill, and South Gate. Senator Gonzalez lives in Long Beach with her family. Website of Senator Lena Gonzalez: www.sen.ca.gov/gonzalez