US Census Bureau + No Multilingual Material = Huh?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm not going to talk about the issue of language, knowing English etc. - that's really not a part of the this conversation, but what I will say is that if you want to do a Census and count everyone - everyone doesn't always know English so if you only send out material in say...English - the bottom line is that your Census might not reach the intended demographic - nor the goal of the project.

Which is counting people - who speak all types of languages.

Glad to see then that this issue is being brought up.

From the SF Examiner

With the 2010 United States Census process now underway, some San Francisco officials are concerned that the decennial survey will neglect city residents who don’t speak English as a primary language.

Unlike years past, an advanced letter notifying families in San Francisco of the 2010 Census is being issued almost completely in English.

The lack of language diversity has drawn the attention of City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, who want the U.S. Census Bureau to return to their normal practices of printing multilingual advance letters. A handful of the advance copies in San Francisco feature Spanish as well as English, but none have Cantonese or Mandarin writing.

Herrera and Chiu have already sent out a letter to Census Director Robert Groves asking him to take heed of their concerns, and today they will host a press conference, along with Vincent Pan of Chinese for Affirmative Action, to address the issue. The meeting will take place at Room 234 in City Hall at noon.
Read it in full and get in the know here.