April 9, 2009, Washington, D.C. – The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) has joined the U.S. Census Bureau’s Partnership Program in order to increase awareness amongst the Iranian American community about the importance of participating in the upcoming 2010 Census.
2010 Census Partners are government, non-profit, corporate or community organizations that have formally pledged their commitment to share the 2010 Census message and mobilize their constituents in support of the Census Bureau’s goal of achieving a complete count. The Census Bureau provides promotional materials, regular updates and data assistance to partners to assist in this effort.
The census is a count of everyone residing in the United States: in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas. The census occurs every ten years – next census is in 2010 and is mandated under the U.S. Constitution (Article 1 section 2).
Census data directly affect how more than $300 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education, transportation and much more. Spending just a few minutes to fill out your census form will help ensure your community gets its fair share of federal and state funding. Census data is also used to define legislature districts, school district assignment areas and other important functional areas of government. Census data is completely confidential and your responses are protected by law (Title 13, U.S. Code, Section 9).
Together, through partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau and in collaboration with other Iranian American organizations and communities, we can collectively work towards securing an accurate count of the number of Iranian Americans residing in the United States. Like many ethnic groups, Iranian Americans have traditionally been undercounted leading to a diminished sense of representation within American society. This can affect our influence as a community on local and national elections. Furthermore, having an accurate profile of Iranian Americans allows for a better understanding of the particular needs of our community and how organizations can better address those needs.
To this end, PAAIA is reaching out to other Iranian American organizations, some of whom have also begun focusing on this issue and are likewise 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.