The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights affirmed that race data is essential to the advancement of civil rights enforcement, data collection and accurate analysis. By a 6-2 vote, the Commission approved the following statement during its monthly business meeting:
"Given the significant role that scientific and empirical data play in academic study and enforcement of civil rights, the Commission opposes efforts to ban the ability of government entities or public institutions to collect racial or ethnographic data."
"As the date nears for the vote on Proposition 54 in California, the Commission is especially concerned about preserving the ability of government and public institutions to collect and analyze race data," noted Commission Chairperson Mary Frances Berry. "Without that data, the United States will be unable to evaluate and ultimately enforce civil rights policies in every arena, from education and health care to labor and housing," she continued.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with monitoring federal civil rights enforcement. Members of the Commission include Chairperson Mary Frances Berry, Vice Chairperson Cruz Reynoso and Commissioners Jennifer C. Braceras, Christopher Edley Jr., Peter N. Kirsanow, Elsie M. Meeks, Russell G. Redenbaugh, and Abigail Thernstrom.