Since September, CAA has joined monthly meetings organized by the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) to discuss Census 2020 implementation strategies alongside Census Bureau staff, the San Francisco Office of Immigrant Affairs and Civic Engagement (OCEIA) and other immigrant-serving community-based organizations. Given SFUSD’s large and diverse student population, comprehensive parent and student engagement on Census 2020 will have a huge impact on successfully achieving a complete count in San Francisco. In these meetings, CAA has highlighted the perspectives of the immigrant Chinese community and provided insights on effective messaging to address fears that parents and students might have about the Census.

After the first two initial meetings, the meeting group has decided to put together a FAQ sheet that will address predominant concerns from parents about Census 2020. For example, the FAQ will remind parents that a citizenship question will not appear on the Census survey. Similarly, according to community organizations, data privacy is on the minds of a lot of parents given a general distrust of the federal government. The sheet will also include language that would dispel any fear that census participation would have any impact on immigration status.

Besides the FAQ sheet, the meeting group has agreed that all messaging materials will lift up three main points: census participation as a form of empowerment, census data is safe and secure, and that Census workers are hired from the community. Given the Census’s significant impact on our communities, SFUSD plays an important role as a trusted messenger to getting the word out to families about the importance of the Census. CAA is excited to continue participating in these SFUSD-organized meetings to ensure that all families in San Francisco have accurate information and feel empowered to participate in the 2020 Census.