Today, we joined the Census Bureau to give a presentation at the offices of Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC) to highlight strategies to address key barriers to hard to count communities from accessing Census 2020. This past workshop is part of a series of train the trainer presentations CAA is conducting with similar organizations to dispel myths, remove barriers and motivate community participation for the Census.
Longstanding barriers to the census to hard to count community members include a digital divide, language access concerns and a general mistrust of government. Hard to count community members, which include people of color, immigrant communities, youth, and seniors, are especially susceptible to being undercounted and we must take care to shape outreach strategies to fit their preferred mode of communication. We are also encouraging community organizations to provide internet access to clients and to also assist them with filling out the form in addition to providing informational workshops, tabling at community events and incorporating Census information into regular programming.
The prevalence of Chinese language scams has also complicated census outreach. To reassure community members to participate, providers need to assure clients that privacy is a significant priority for the Census Bureau. We are asking CBOs to remind community members that the Census Bureau will never ask for social security numbers, bank accounts, credit card numbers or money/donations. We encourage all community members to fill out the census by May 2020 if they wish to avoid any further interaction with the federal government besides the initial mailer. There are also strict regulations in place to protect census data from being shared with other government agencies.
You can do your part to help our communities avoid an undercount. Spread the word about Census to your friends and family and remind them in advance of April 1st, 2020 when the forms will be available to be filled out. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at CensusTA@caasf.org or at our Census Hotline at 415-236-0909 for help.