May 17th, Asian Americans “Open a Door” to the Census in Ridgefield, NJ

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On Monday, May 17 in Ridgefield, New Jersey, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), joined by several Asian American community leaders, hosted a press conference to bring awareness to the Census Bureau’s Non-Response Follow-up Phase, or door-to-door canvassing operations. 

Across the nation, census-takers have started canvassing neighborhoods to follow up with households that did not return their census forms by mail.  This phase of the census, which began on May 1, is expected to last no later than early July.

 

As of Wednesday, April 28, the national mail-back response rate was 72%.  The response rate for the State of New Jersey was 72%, matching the national rate.  However, in areas with large concentrations of Asian residents, such as Jersey City (57%) and Palisades Park (60%), the response rates trailed behind the statewide rate.  In addition, although some boroughs, such as Edison (73%), Fort Lee (72%), and Ridgefield (70%), attained above-average response rates, many Census tracts were unable to match their 2000 rates. 

 

During the press conference, Glenn D. Magpantay, AALDEF Democracy Program Director, literally opened a free standing door and said, “When the census comes to your home, open the door.”  On the other side of the door were census employees dressed as census-takers, carrying a white, government-issued identification card and an official “U.S. Census Bureau” black shoulder bag.

 

Howard Shih, Census Programs Director of the Asian American Federation, said, “We would like to remind our community that the Census is only half over.  Several towns in New Jersey with concentrations of Asian residents reported lower mail participation rates during this Census compared with the previous Census; there is more work ahead to reassure our neighbors that the Census is safe, easy, and important for our future.”

 

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Community leaders emphasized the importance of cooperating with census-takers, the benefits of participation, and the confidentiality of census information.  Each speaker also tried to allay fears and address specific community concerns.  Speakers included:

Andrew Kim, Co-Chair, NJ 2010 Korean American Census Task Force
Qudsia Raja, New Jersey Outreach Coordinator, South Asian Americans Leading Together
Howard Shih, Census Programs Director, Asian American Federation
Co-sponsors of the May 17th press conference included Asian American Federation, H Mart, Korean American Voters’ Council, NJ 2010 Korean American Census Task Force, South Asian Americans Leading Together, the Home Depot (Flushing), and the U.S. Census Bureau.

  On Monday, May 17 in Ridgefield, New Jersey, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), joined by several Asian American community leaders, hosted a press conference to bring awareness to the Census Bureau’s Non-Response Follow-up Phase, or door-to-door canvassing operations.  Across the nation, census-takers have started canvassing neighborhoods to follow up with…

  On Monday, May 17 in Ridgefield, New Jersey, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), joined by several Asian American community leaders, hosted a press conference to bring awareness to the Census Bureau’s Non-Response Follow-up Phase, or door-to-door canvassing operations.  Across the nation, census-takers have started canvassing neighborhoods to follow up with…

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