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Giving Compass' Take:
• Governing magazine discusses the uncertainties around the 2020 Census — including fears of undercounting immigrants, minorities and low-income people — and how states are preparing.
• Ensuring a fair process has repercussions for those in nonprofits and social advocacy work. Undercounting certain populations will likely affect the government-based funding they receive.
One afternoon last summer, Xiongpao Lee was walking around a festival in St. Paul, Minn., armed with a stack of forms. Lee was there to find other residents who, like him, belong to the area’s large Hmong immigrant community. As he stopped and chatted with folks throughout the day, he had a very specific topic on his mind: the 2020 Census.
The Twin Cities is home to the nation’s largest Hmong community, South Asian immigrants with ancient ethnic roots in China. But a segment of that population remains hard to reach, in part because of a significant language barrier. That’s something Lee and members of the Hmong American Census Network want to overcome.
At the festival, he spoke with several people, explaining what the Census is and how it works. He cited dollar figures on how much funding is dependent on the count, and he discussed how Minnesota is on the verge of potentially losing a House seat. “Even the people who are aware of the Census,” Lee says, “don’t understand how the Census affects decisionmaking and policymaking.”
Read the full article about innovative ways states are preparing for the census by Mike Maciag at Governing magazine.