After numerous efforts spanning decades aimed at getting the US Census Bureau to formally count our community [for background read this], they are planning to test a new classification for people from the MENA region for possible inclusion in the 2020 Census.
HOWEVER! At least 5,000 positive comments supporting this classification are needed by Feb. 1, 2015!
Why does our community need this?
Well first and foremost, our community and needs are invisible in the eyes of the federal government.
Furthermore our numbers are grossly undercounted – the 2010 Census which captured comments in the “Other Race” counted at least 1.697M Arab-Americans, half of the 3.6M identified by the AAI, and this number doesn’t factor in additional communities from the Levant and North Africa such as Chaldeans, Kurds, Berbers.
Bottom-line, as a growing community we’re not getting fair share of resources & can’t demonstrate need if we can’t show numbers. Also important to note:
- For every 100 people not counted, a community risks losing an estimated $1.2m over the next decade for federally funded programs
- Additionally, the US Census numbers redraw Congressional, state senate districts, house districts, city council, county boards. [NAACP Fact Sheet]
1 day away from another 10 Year Wait!
Make sure to submit a positive comment here – it will literally take you 10 seconds – while there are additional hurdles if we get the 5,000 comments by Feb 1st (such as Congressional approval), we must make this first hurdle.
Take action now – tell your mama, baba, Jiddo, Tete, Khalto, Ammo – everyone! We have 24 hours to submit thousands of comments! Simply visit: www.naaponline.org/census
Still not convinced – here are 26 Reasons Why Arab-Americans Deserve Their Own Box On The US Census!