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San Francisco Battles for an Accurate Census

New America Media, Video, Video by Cassidy Friedman, Text by Jacob Simas Posted: Mar 27, 2010

This month, 2010 Census questionnaires were mailed out to every household in the United States, but for census enumerators and community groups advocating a complete count, the hard work has just begun.

On Friday, March 19, organizers from 13 San Francisco community organizations, each reflecting the diversity of the city itself, met at the Mission Districts Centro del Pueblo to launch a door-to-door canvassing campaign, to encourage their community members to fill out the form and mail it back.

Their goal is to avoid a repeat of the 2000 Census, when an estimated 100,000 San Franciscans went un-counted, costing the city hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for vital community services.

But their task wont be easily accomplished. For it is within those communities deemed hardest to count primarily poor, communities of color that there exists the greatest apathy toward the federal
government. This is the irony of the decennial census. How do you convince those who have been let down by government the most, that they have a stake in sharing their personal information with that same government? This was the task at hand for organizers, as they fanned out and hit the streets of their respective neighborhoods.

Related Articles:

The Census Search For Hard to Count Communities

Census to Count Arabs as White, Despite Write-In Campaign

Arizona Creates 'Zero Tolerance' Zone

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