Executive Summary

Now more than ever, states are important policy battlegrounds on a variety of issues affecting communities of color. This is especially true with a deeply divided Congress, a Supreme Court delegating greater authority to state governments, the growing power of voters of color, and the growing diversification of state legislatures. With a steep rise in hate crimes and hate incidents, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities are working collectively and in coalition with other groups to push for policies that advance an agenda for inclusion, addressing community needs and building more equitable systems. AAPI Data, working in collaboration with the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, various state AANHPI commissions and community organizations, launched a state policy portal in November 2022 that 

  1. Provides insights on the policy landscape across states on issues that affect AA and NHPI communities; and 
  2. Serves as a foundation for establishing a network of state-level groups that can share insights and model legislative strategies with each other. 

The AA and NHPI State Policy Portal contains several key features, including

  • A clickable map allowing users to view key demographic data and policies by state; 
  • State maps of key policies related to data disaggregation, language access, and ethnic studies and curricula; and 
  • Tables that are filtered by issue area, as well as an “All Policies” table that allows users to view, search, and sort all the policies in the database across states. 

The state policy portal relies heavily on the insights and expertise of state commissions focused on AA and NHPI issues, as well as state policy tracking on particular issues by the National Immigration Law Center, Migration Policy Institute, and the Asian American Research Initiative at San Francisco State University. 

Our report contextualizes a variety of priority topics at the state level, along with several other key issue areas, with specific illustrative examples on how they affect Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. We also offer next steps in the ongoing development of our state policy portal, working in collaboration with a variety of partners, and our intentions to use it as a platform for information sharing, community building, and strategy development. Together, we hope to build stronger networks spanning various states and sectors that combine and leverage data and narrative to advance strategic policy action.