Census 2020 has already begun, and is extended into October due to COVID-19. Our community’s ability to stay healthy and safe relies on fair and equal access to public resources especially during times of crisis. Census data will be used to distribute resources for public health, transportation, education, and nutrition for the next 10 years, and is pivotal to our collective recovery.
Since 2018, CAA has led advocacy efforts to tackle one of the most challenging censuses yet. We led the fight and won critical resources for local and state funding to address language access barriers, the digital divide, and to better reach those living in fear.
Despite recent setbacks, we decisively shifted to ensure immigrants, people of color, and working families can equitably access the 2020 Census.
In 2019, we partnered with public agencies and community-based organizations to provide training to over 500 service providers in San Francisco. The trainings were intended to support our local partners to prepare for their Census 2020 operations and to share our expertise from the last 50 years.
While COVID-19 has significantly affected our plans to conduct in-person outreach and assistance, we effectively pivoted by leveraging our Wechat channel to reach Chinese language communities who are tuned into virtual spaces. We also increased our in-language resources to share accurate and timely information about Census 2020, and motivated limited English proficient families to fill out the Census. For those who need additional support during the form-filling process, CAA has instituted virtual Census clinics spearheaded by our Outreach Specialists and are also offering phone assistance through our hotline (415) 761-3222.
In addition, CAA Outreach Specialists have phone banked to over 1,100 immigrant families in San Francisco who don’t have access to computers and the internet and to encourage their participation.
Being able to achieve a full and complete count is essential. It ensures political representation and a fair share of resources for the next 10 years for our communities. Our Census advocacy, outreach, and education and services will continue to ensure we build a more inclusive democracy.