SVCA's Letter to Governor Brown on Amended AB1726

August 30, 2016

Governor Jerry Brown

c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173

Sacramento, CA 95814


RE: Opposition to Amended AB1726 (Bonta)

Honorable Governor Brown:

California Assembly Bill AB1726 (Bonta) was amended on August 19 and passed the Assembly Floor on August 29. While we appreciate Assembly Member Bonta heeding widespread protests from the Asian American communities and removing education-related content from the bill, which renders it less harmful, we are still wary of the potential racist intentions of data collection within the healthcare realm and racially discriminatory policies deriving from such data. 

In fact, more than 14,000, and growing, signatures on our petition against data disaggregation speak volumes of the communities’ outcry against  AB1726, be it the previous or amended form.

AB1726, in its current form, remains divisive, unfair, unscientific, and infeasible, as its predecessor AB176 (Bonta). We applaud your previous veto decision on AB176, and urge you to take the same action this time again.

We believe that your concern over AB176 last year holds true in this current case: “Dividing people into ethnic or other subcategories may yield more information, but not necessarily greater wisdom about what actions should follow. To focus just on ethnic identity may not be enough.”

AB1726 is clearly divisive and unfair.  It does not stipulate the collection of similar racial data from any group other than the Asian Americans Pacific Islanders.  The bill, for example, does not require Cuban Americans, or Mexican Americans to report their ethnicities other than the generic “Hispanic.”  Similarly, it does not require Jewish Americans, Arab Americans or Irish American to report ethnicities other than the generic “White.”  It is indisputable that those sub-groups within the Hispanics and Whites are ethnically and culturally diverse.  Singling out Asian Americans for stratification is not only unfair to Asian Americans, but also to all Americans.

AB1726 is unscientific.  It confuses ethnicities with national origins. For instance, China as a country officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups among its citizens, including, for example, Korean, Hmong, Muslim and Mongolian.  So identifying oneself as “Chinese” or “Taiwanese” doesn’t disclose that person’s true ethnicity, let alone genetic makeup. Furthermore, the impact of the citizenship of one’s ancestry -- and in many cases multiple citizenships within the family tree -- is not necessarily a deciding factor of that person’s genetic makeup or health concerns. Therefore, such stratification tactic encoded by AB1726 wouldn’t have been a useful factor in allocating health resources of California. In fact, the risk of abuse will certainly rise. One instance may very well be insurance premium hikes for a certain ethnic group being perceived as prone to diabetes.

In addition to all the problems above, this bill cannot be realistically implemented. Besides forcing substantial costs on California taxpayers, the system is not intended or able to monitor and verify the accuracy and integrity of the self-identified data generated under this bill.

California does not need a bill that serves to only divide our communities. California does not need more heightened racial tensions. Please veto AB1726.




Weiping Li



Enclosure: A list of organizations in opposition to AB1726



[As of August 30, 2016]


80-20 Asian American PAC Virginia-Maryland-DC Chapter

AACE (Asian American Coalition for Education)

AALF (Asian American Legal Foundation)

Asian American Voters

Bay Area Asian Pacific Islander Association

BANH (Bay Area Homeowner Network)

BHSH (Big Hand Small Hand)

California International Film Festival

Cherry Hill Huaxia Chinese School

Chinese American Republican

Chinese American Equalization Association (HQH)

CAPAFC (Chinese American Parent Association of Fairfax County)

CARA (Chinese American Rights Association)

Community Info Share

DCFF (Davis Chinese Film Festival Foundation)

DCA (Dublin Chinese Association)

Diva Club

EGCA (Elk Grove Chinese Association)

Foster City Chinese American Association

Fudan Alumni Association San Diego Chapter

Law offices of Qiang Bjornbak

New Star Chinese School, Davis

NTIS (No Tower In School)

OCCLG (Orange County Chinese Ladies Group)

OHFA (Overseas Hubei Friendship Association)

SDAAFE (San Diego Asian American for Equality)

SDCAA (San Diego Chinese American Association)

San Ramon Chinese Association

ShanXi Association of Northern California

SVCA (Silicon Valley Chinese Association)

The Hubei Sisterhood of California

WW-P Education Support Association

Silicon Valley for Better Community

Lisa Performing Arts, Co.

Zhejiang Chamber of Commerce USA

Peking University Alumni Association of Northern California

Cai Gong School

Sacramento Chinese Voting Bloc

1441 Manufacture Home Residents Association

Morning Light School



CAPA (Howard County)

Jin Chuan USA Inc

Central Valley Chinese Association

Silicon Valley Chinese Association Foundation

Philadelphia Tristate Chinese American Association

The Chinese Association of Science, Education and Culture of South Florida

TOC (The Orange Club)

TVA (TriValley Acamedy)

UAAFA (United Asian American For Activism)

UBC (United For Better Community)

Venus Chinese School

Northern California Dongbei Association

USTC Track and Field Health Club

MF Brooklyn LLC

Jacksonville Chinese Association

CBCH Chinese School

UCSG Association of Chinese Students & Scholars