Racial and Ethnic Data Collection and Use in Health Care: Examples of Projects That Might Be Affected by Proposition 54

This is archived content, for historical reference only.

Proposition 54 appeared before California voters on the ballot in October 2003 and was defeated. The ballot initiative was formally titled “Classification by Race, Ethnicity, Color or National Origin” (CRECNO) and known informally as the “Racial Privacy Initiative.” This initiative would have broadly affected many aspects of state and local government by restricting collection of data or classification of individuals by race or ethnicity.

The California HealthCare Foundation took no position on Proposition 54 but developed this issue brief to examine the potential impact of Proposition 54 on health-related research that uses ethnic and racial data. The brief includes examples of specific research activities and projects, the data used in these activities, and the effects the initiative might have had on the research methodology and resources.