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Census Bureau Urges Asian American Communities to Shape Their Future

By October 11, 2019October 23rd, 2019No Comments

A new campaign is launched to ensure that Asian Americans respond and are counted in 2020.

SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. — In preparation for the 2020 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau met with Asian American media outlets recently to emphasize the need for all Asian Americans to be accurately counted.

The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census of the population be conducted once every 10 years for the purpose of reapportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Census Bureau data are also used to determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds are distributed annually to states and local communities for services and infrastructure, including health care, jobs, schools, roads and businesses.

(From left) Moderator Ed Chang and participants Julie Lam, Jennifer Kim, Ron Fong and Tim Wang took part in a panel discussion to launch a new initative “Shape Your Future. START HERE” that is aimed at educating Asian Americans in taking part in the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census. (Photo: Allison Haramoto)

Speaking at the South Pasadena Public Library, representatives of the U.S. Census Bureau explained how the 2020 Census will be conducted and shared insights that 
culminated in the recently released Asian-language campaign platforms for “Shape your Future. START HERE.”

“The 2020 Census is on track, and we are confident that operations and outreach efforts will reach all communities, including Asian Americans,” said Jennifer Kim, assistant division chief for content, translation, Puerto Rico and Island Areas Operations from the Census Bureau. “The Census 
Bureau is committed to Asian American communities.”

According to the 2020 Census Barriers, Attitudes and Motivations Survey, Asian Americans are the racial group with the least familiarity with the census and lowest intention to complete the form.

“The Census Bureau is focusing on 
outreach and communications to all communities,” said Kim. “For the first time, all households will have the opportunity to respond to the census in one of three ways: online, by phone or by mail. In 2020, people will be able to respond online or directly 
via phone in English and 12 non-English 
languages, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog and Japanese. The availability of these options will make the 2020 Census more accessible than ever before.”

During the South Pasadena event, a panel that included Kim as well as Julie Lam, regional director of the Los Angeles regional offices; Ron Fong, executive director of Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program; and Tim Wang, founder and principal of TDW+Co, spoke about the importance of making every person count.

The “Shape Your Future. START HERE” platform arose from research conducted from different multicultural communities to help the Census Bureau reach limited-English-speaking households and teach them about the importance of the census.

“We believe that through the 2020 Census, Asian American communities have an opportunity to play an active role in shaping the future by being counted, and this platform will remind them of that opportunity,” said Wang.


  • Responding to the 2020 Census is a chance to shape your future.
  • The 2020 Census will inform how billions of dollars of funding are allocated annually for critical public services.
  • Census data gives local leaders vital information to make decisions about building community centers, opening businesses and planning for the future.
  • The data is used to redraw district 
  • The census is mandated in the U.S. Constitution, and your participation is a way for you to fulfill a civic duty. Completing the census is required by law.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau will send every household instructions on how to fill out the 2020 Census.
  • The Census Bureau will never ask for Social Security numbers, bank or credit card numbers, money or donations or anything related to political parties. The 2020 Census will not ask for your citizenship status.
  • The census counts every resident of the U.S., including all children in a household, temporary residents and undocumented residents.
  • The law requires the Census Bureau to keep your information confidential and use your response only to produce statistics. It cannot release any identifiable information about individuals, households or businesses, even to law enforcement agencies. All employees take a lifelong oath of confidentiality.