Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities have historically been undercounted in previous U.S. Census counts. Today, roughly one in five Asian Americans live in hard-to-count census tracts, as do one in three Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders (NHPIs). Furthermore, because the Asian American and NHPI communities are very diverse, overall statistics can easily mask the characteristics and challenges facing subgroups. A complete count of these communities in the 2020 census is extremely important.
National CAPACD, a coalition of local community development organizations that advocate for and organize in low-income Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and neighborhoods, informs (AANHPI) communities that, due to social distancing required by the coronavirus pandemic, individuals are strongly encouraged to respond to the 2020 Census online or by mail.
National CAPACD recently shared ways people can take action to inform their respective communities about the 2020 census:
People can register for a webinar, "Count Us In: Engaging AAPIs in the 2020 Census,” on Wednesday April 8 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Speakers will discuss what the census means for AAPI communities and suggest steps for educating these communities. Panelists will also discuss strategies they are using locally and will provide the most up-to-date information on how COVID-19 is impacting get-out-the-count (GOTC) efforts. Register for the webinar at: https://bit.ly/2USL9dg
Speakers will be:
- Jenny Aramony, U.S. Census Bureau
- Quyen Dinh, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
- Mar Hirschfield, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
- Tavae Samuelu, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities
- Rosalyn Epstein, National CAPACD (moderator)
Although the “official” Census Day was April 1, the opportunity to be counted in the census goes well beyond that date. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Census Bureau has extended the self-response phase from July 31 to August 14, so it is not too late to educate AAPI communities about completing the census. People are encouraged to check out the “I got counted” social media toolkits for in-language proverbs, AAPI-specific images, and messaging to share on social media. For more ideas on how to share census messaging digitally, check out the digital organizing toolkit developed by the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. Advocates are urged to use the hashtag #AAPI2020 to uplift their communities’ collective voice.
National CAPACD has culturally specific materials at: https://bit.ly/3bKeux8, including:
- Information about the 2020 census in eight NHPI languages provided byEmpowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice at: https://www.countusin2020.org/nhpi
- Information about Southeast Asian American (SEAA) communities at: https://seaascount2020.squarespace.com
- Information from the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance at: https://www.apalanet.org/census.html
- Information from Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote at: https://bit.ly/3aHbuBS
- “How the 2020 Census Affects Your Community,” which informs people in the AANHPI community that they can call a census hotline at 844-2020-API for support in English and other languages. People can go to www.CountUsIn2020.org/hotline for more information.
- Translated Get-Out-the-Count Factsheets in many languages.
- A “Census 2020 Get-Out-the-Count Toolkit” that has a tips for community engagement and communications.
- A wide variety of factsheets.
In addition Census Counts, a collaborative campaign coordinated by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, has an extensive 2020 Census resource library targeted to AANHPI communities at: https://censuscounts.org/resources/library. Some items include:
- “Will You Count? Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPIs) In The 2020 Census,” a detailed fact sheet.
- “AAPI 2020: Count Us In 2020 Resource,” a nine-page toolkit.
- “Factsheet on Why the Census Matters for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Communities”
Other U.S. Census Bureau changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic (see Memo, 3/23) include:
- The start of the non-response follow up and re-interview is delayed, now starting on May 28 and going to August 14. This operation involves census takers interviewing households in person who have not responded online, by phone, or by mail.
- Service-Based Enumeration is delayed, now starting on April 29 and going to May 1. This census operation involves counting people who are experiencing homelessness by reaching out to service providers such as shelters, soup kitchens, regularly scheduled mobile food vans, and targeted outdoor locations (see Memo, 3/9).
- Census takers also count people experiencing homelessness living under bridges, in parks, in all-night businesses, etc. This operation is delayed until May 1.
- Census takers count people living in transitory locations such as hotels, motels, RV parks, and campgrounds (see Memo, 3/9). This operation is delayed to April 23 through May 18.