We have a really exciting announcement: last week, the City Council passed some really important bills that have the potential to hugely impact LGBTQ+ and people of color in all five boroughs!
Introducing 251-A, 551-A, & 552-A
City Councilman Daniel Dromm of Jackson Heights, Queens and City Councilwoman Margaret S. Chin of Manhattan were the central sponsors of these bills. Their work, in collaboration with community activists and organizations in the five boroughs, has led to this huge moment for "data equity legislation" in NYC. These efforts were incited in the bills that enable people to be more specific about their sexual, gender, racial, ethnic, and linguistic identities.
251-A mandates that NYC agencies like the Department of Education or the Department of Homeless Services collect data on the top 30 ethnicities and languages, all of which must be publically accessible on their websites.
551-A requires agencies to add an option on forms for people to identify as having multiracial or multiethnic backgrounds. This is so important when it comes to inclusivity! Especially in a city as beautifully diverse as New York.
552-A requires NYC agencies to collect data on the sexual orientation and gender identity of the people they are serving. This is the first stride of it's kind when it comes to LGBTQI+ data collection efforts in New York City. All this data will also be made accessible for the public.
Though these bills are formally passed as legislation, we will keep you posted on whether or not they are signed into law!
“Now we count. This legislation is historic,” Dromm said. “It will provide the LGBTQ community and people of many different ethnicities greater access to vital city services. These important bills will do much to protect NYC residents who have been subject to institutional discrimination and neglect for far too long. This legislation will mean great things for our city.”
Why Does Apicha CHC Care?
Apicha CHC is thrilled to stand by all the Council members in this historic moment for New York City legislation. The possibility that this moment gives way to is so important in the long fight for equity & equality for all people.
This comes after the NIH's announcement that it would formally recognize LGBTQ+ individuals as minorities. We explained in our blog post celebrating the NIH's announcement that the doors this opens for data collection and research is pivotal in our success as a community health care center. And now we have to opportunity to witness and celebrate our home, New York City, more seriously considering the livelihood of LGBTQ+ people and people of color.
These bills directly impact the people we are proud to serve at Apicha CHC and also directly effects the information we will have access to because of these critical changes in legislation. We are deeply invested in care for all and data equity is critical for that to be possible.
“For our leaders to govern our city effectively, and provide the services that New Yorkers need, we need to have the data that reflect our communities’ wonderful diversity and complexity.”
Javier Valdez, the co-executive director of Make the Road New York