Our Stories Count

By: Neel Saxena, Executive Director

Media courtesy of Comcast Newsmakers and Various Sources

Asian Americans are at risk of losing resources if not included in the Census 2020.

Every 10 years the Federal Government takes on the task to count every single person to help determine political power, how federal dollars are shared in the U.S, and how resources will be allocated over the next 10 years. It is important to have a fair and accurate count so that ALL communities are included. The Asian American community, however, has faced numerous undercounts over the years and this year’s count is in jeopardy.

Why does the Census Matter for Asian Americans?

It is important because it helps ensure every voice counts when decision makers allocate. For example, funding for out-of-school time programs like AALEAD’s after school program!

It is important to you, your family, and your community get a fair and equitable shot at those resources.

The inclusion of Asian Americans in the Census 2020 is critical to our families’ and youth’s futures – it helps us get the start we need to thrive with health care, transportation, schools, affordable housing and higher education!

Why might there be an undercount?

The 2020 Census Barriers, Attitudes, and Motivators Study Survey was conducted between February and April 2018

Asian Americans were the

  • least likely of any racial group to report that they intended to complete the form
  • least likely to express familiarity with the census
  • most likely to say that their answers to the Census “will be used against them”
  • most skeptical of whether or not they believed that the census information would benefit them personally

There is a heavy focus on the citizenship question but little attention is focused on the impact on Asian Americans despite the fact that Asian Americans have the largest share of recent immigrants or the highest rates of limited English proficiency.

Our Stories Count

Our Stories Count is Asian American LEAD’s effort to help ensure a fair and accurate count of Asian American in the DC metro area. In addition to direct efforts to engage youth and family, AALEAD advocates for state and local governments, as well as corporate and nonprofit philanthropy, to step up in a major way and increase investments in Asian American outreach. There are 50 different ethnicities and 100 languages, the investment is critical to reaching all of these populations.

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