April 1, 2009, Washington, D.C. – The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) is pleased to announce the launch of the Iranian American 2010 Census Project aimed at securing an accurate count of the number of Iranian Americans residing in the United States. The specific goals of this Project are to reach every Iranian American household in the country to educate them about the importance of participating in the 2010 Census, to assure them that the information provided to the Census Bureau will be confidential, and to urge them to respond to questions relating to race, ethnicity or national origin in a consistent manner. This effort will not only be of great benefit to our community, but will also help in further understanding the overall demographics of the United States. The 2010 census will be undertaken beginning on April 1st, 2010, but given the critical importance of this Project to the Iranian American community it is being initiated a year in advance to allow adequate time and preparation.
Like many ethnic groups, Iranian Americans have traditionally been undercounted, leading to a diminished sense of representation within American society. According to the 2000 Census, there were 338,000 Iranian Americans at the time, while the actual number is believed to be at least two or three times larger. By taking a proactive role in the 2010 Census, our community can strive to have the statistics represent the reality.
However, the Iranian American 2010 Census Project cannot truly achieve its goals without coordinated action by a broad based coalition of Iranian American communities and organizations, be they national or local. To that end, PAAIA is reaching out to other Iranian American organizations, some of whom may have also begun focusing on this issue and may likewise be interested in a collaborative effort, as a first step in building such a coalition. By uniting Iranian Americans behind this worthy goal, our community will be well on its way to gaining greater prominence within American society, while at the same time gaining a better understanding of our own unique needs. PAAIA invites Iranian American community members and organizations to join the Iranian American 2010 Census Project.