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February 22, 2024

California Legislature Introduces the MENA Inclusion Act🎉

The MENA Inclusion Act has been introduced in the California state legislature, which would finally create a “Middle Eastern and North African (MENA)” category for state ethnic data collection. 

California is, far and away, the state with the largest Iranian-American population – it is well past time for the state to recognize it and count us officially!

The introduction of this bill is a crucial step to officially put our community on the map and open up new resources and benefits – from having better data to address health disparities in our communities, to economic growth opportunities, to increasing our political presence and participation. 

Read more about the bill’s specifics in our explainer.

The introduction of this bill comes after months of advocacy from a coalition of MENA organizations – including NIAC Action, the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Armenian-American Action Network, Council on American-Islamic Relations California, and more.

This is a big opportunity for the Iranian-American community and all groups of MENA heritage. While the federal government is considering major changes at the national level to the U.S. Census, state-level action like this can make a significant difference. 

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