Get Counted So You Can Get Funded

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I know we're supposed to be the silent minority and everything but this is crazy - because who doesn't want billions of dollars? Exactly.

So what's an Asian to do when the Census comes a counting?

Get all your closest friends together and have a couple of shots to make it a party (clothes are optional).

And yes - I do realize it's not that easy - but that's why it's great to see all these organizations getting together to make sure that the API community does in fact get counted:

Seven Asian and Pacific Islander organizations across the state have come together to form the API Census Network in an effort to promote the API community’s participation in the 2010 Census.

Over the last decade, California has suffered a $2.1 billion loss in federal funding due to the undercount of API populations during the 2000 Census. An accurate 2010 Census can help correct errors in determining political districts and allocation of federal funds to state and local governments.

''We have to be creative about the strategies we use to outreach to everyone in the Asian and Pacific Islander community,'' said An Lê, the API Census Network statewide network manager. ''We need our communities to understand an accurate census means more federal funding, greater access to governmental services and more resources directed to our communities. Our goal is to have everyone fill out their census questionnaires in April 2010.''

One of the obstacles in conducting an accurate count of API populations is language proficiency. Nearly 36 percent of Asian Americans and 10 percent of Pacific Islanders have limited English proficiency. Further compounding the undercount is the immense cultural and linguistic diversity, making it challenging to educate this population about the importance to participate in the census., according to the Census Network.

As a part of its outreach and media campaign, the API Census Network will redistribute culturally specific materials in all major Asian languages produced by the Census Bureau. Additionally, the API Census Network recognizes specific communities in South East, South Asian and Pacific Islander sub-groups have disproportionately low rates of participation in the census.
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