Legislator Proposes To Expand Definition of "Director From An Underrepresented Community"

Enacted in 2020, AB 979 requires publicly held domestic or foreign corporations having their principal executive offices in California to have specified minimum numbers of directors from "underrepresented communities".  Cal. Corp. Code §§ 301.4 & 2115.6.   As enacted, a "director from an underrepresented community" is defined as "an individual who self-identifies as Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Alaska Native, or who self-identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender".  Cal. Corp. Code § 301.4(e)(1).  

Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian recently amended AB 1840 to expand the definition "a director from an underrepresented community" to include an individual who self-identifies as Armenian, Assyrian, Greek, Jewish, Muslim, or Sikh, or who is an individual with a disability".    The logic of these proposed additions defy logic.  For example, Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country and yet a person who identifies as a Turkish Muslim is given preference over someone who identifies as a Turkish Christian.  Why is Greece, a European country, being added to the list but not its neighbors, Albania, Bulgaria, and North Macedonia? 

I also wonder why it is necessary to add directors who identify as Armenian to the list.  Don't they already qualify as Asians?  Despite the fact that Armenia is to the East of the Bosporus, its location in Asia is uncertain.  According to the CIA's World Factbook, Armenia is located in "Southwestern Asia, between Turkey (to the west) and Azerbaijan; note - Armenia views itself as part of Europe; geopolitically, it can be classified as falling within Europe, the Middle East, or both".  

Perhaps Judge Terry Green will put an end to this divisive law by ruling AB 979 to be unconstitutional.  See Judge Weighs Challenge to California Board Quota Law.