The citizenship question has finally been slashed from the 2020 Census but reduced language accessibility on the paper forms will pose a severe challenge to a full and complete count.
“Denying broad access to paper versions of the census — particularly to Asian Pacific Islander communities — created a ‘de facto exclusion for many communities that should be represented and have a fair share of the resources that should come our way,’ said Hong Mei Pang, advocacy director for Chinese for Affirmative Action in San Francisco.” (From SF Chronicle)
In order to address the language access barriers presented by the 2020 Census, Chinese for Affirmative Action worked closely with San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Assemblymember David Chiu to submit a letter to the US Census Bureau to reinstate API and other languages available via the printed census forms, similar to 2010 operations. Currently, printed 2020 Census surveys are only available in English and Spanish.
The upcoming decennial Census will be the first time US residents can submit a survey online. Communities that have been historically undercounted, especially immigrants and those who do not have reliable access to a computer or internet, will face additional barriers compounded by language access challenges and the climate of fear that revolves associated with the Trump Administration.
CAA has historically worked on census outreach to ensure that communities of color and immigrants are motivated and have equal access when participating in the census. For the past 50 years, CAA has organized outreach efforts, initiated door to door campaigns and partnered with local stakeholders to prioritize census outreach to hard to reach communities.