SEARAC Urges Community Members to Respond to the 2020 Census as Soon as Possible

For immediate release
September 25, 2020

Media contact:
Elaine Sanchez Wilson
(202) 601-2970

Washington, DC — As rulings and expected appeals continue in court, SEARAC urges community members not to wait and to respond to the 2020 Census as soon as possible.
Over 650,000 Southeast Asian Americans (SEAAs), roughly 23%, lived in hard-to-count tracts according to 2010 Census data, and we must all continue working to ensure that SEAA communities are fully counted this time around. Luckily, community members can still fill out the census from the comfort of their own homes. Make sure your loved ones respond and get SEAAs the visibility, funding, and political representation rightfully deserved by a community that is 2.7 million strong and growing.
The uncertainty surrounding the census only underscores the necessity for Congress to take action to extend the census deadlines. Introduced last week by Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), the 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act would extend data reporting deadlines and provide the Census Bureau with more time to process and ensure acceptable quality of apportionment and redistricting data that will impact the next 10 years. The bill has already received more bipartisan support, and SEARAC continues encouraging community members to voice their concerns to their elected officials.
“Congress should help dispel uncertainty surrounding this once-a-decade event, and we call on our elected officials to do their part in providing ample time to count and report all communities fully and accurately in the 2020 Census,” said Katrina Dizon Mariategue, Acting Executive Director of SEARAC. “Historically undercounted communities, including Southeast Asian Americans, deserve to be seen and reflected in the way this country distributes funding and political representation. SEARAC urges Congress to move forward with this critical legislation, and in the meantime, we are committed to getting out the count until the final whistle.”

ACTION ALERT: Take a few minutes to call or email your Senators NOW

1. Call the US Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak with your Senate member. You can also click here to find the direct lines to your senator.

2. Find your senator’s email here.

3. Find sample language below:

Hi, my name is _______, and I am your constituent from (City, State). I am calling/writing to ask you to support the 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act, introduced by Sens. Schatz, Murkowski, and Sullivan, so that the Census Bureau has the time it needs to count everyone in our state. A rushed census results in an inaccurate representation of the country for the next 10 years. We must provide adequate time for the Census Bureau to conduct a full and accurate count of our communities in (State). Thank you.


Earlier this year, Kevin Hoang Pham, of Silver Spring, MD, was at a low point, mentally. He had tested positive for COVID and became stressed that he had inadvertently passed it on to his family members.
But in that time of severe anxiety, Kevin was reminded of the power of love and connection. “In the period of two weeks I was in quarantine, my parents brought food up to my window every single day,” Kevin shared, adding that he is a recent college graduate living with housemates. “In a moment where I was experiencing an emotional low, I knew my mom and stepdad would come at the end of the day, bring really good food for me, and check in on me. It made me feel really seen and taken care of. It made me feel really loved.”
These days Kevin is ensuring that members of historically overlooked, hard-to-count communities, including Southeast Asian American (SEAA) communities, are also seen — through the census.
Click here to learn more about Kevin’s journey to becoming a census enumerator and the barriers that exist for getting SEAA communities counted.