Census outreach continues amid coronavirus crisis

LOS ANGELES — Spreading the word, without spreading the coronavirus.

While community gatherings, school, and large events are being canceled, the Filipino Complete Count Committee held a scaled-down kick-off to the upcoming week of action to encourage to participate in the upcoming census — by using video calls and making sure everyone had plenty of physical space.

“The Census leadership had made contingency plans, they’ve prepared for any eventuality especially the pandemic that we have now. We are focusing the efforts on telecommunicating with the public, we are doing outreach on our cell phones, our smartphones, through the leaders in the community, and we’re very optimistic we are getting a positive response especially our Facebook friends,” said Eric Lachica, Partnership Specialist of the U.S. Census.

“We’re going to be there in the community, but then again taking into consideration whats been going on, especially this week so we’re really taking steps to ensure everyone is safe,” said Romeo Hebron, Filipino Migrant Center.

As the country is under a national emergency due to coronavirus,  community leaders are hoping that Filipinos can still take time to fill out their census forms either online or through the mail, while telling their friends and family about the importance of getting counted.

The census which takes place every ten years, helps shape congressional district and distribute funds to communities. These community organizers said the census is crucial in times of crisis – when people are expected to seek services when it comes to health to social welfare.

“If we more accurate numbers we can more actively counter this pandemic, so we need to count where our numbers really are so the amounts of resources for testing for prevention all of that needs to happen for hospital capabilities,” said Aqui Soriano Versoza.

Community partners are planning more community outreach efforts through special daily online campaigns.

For those who plan on being out and about, the Every Filipino Counts project has teamed up with lots of local businesses, giving some prizes and discounts for those who show that they submitted their forms.

The deadline to complete the simple questionnaire is April 1st. More information and the actual forms can be found on 2020census.gov.

For those who miss the deadline, census takers go door to door around May, however, census officials say they are monitoring and will be prepared for that situation when the time comes.

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