PAAIA’s New York Chapter Partners with the U.S. Census Bureau

November 3, 2009, New York, NY – The Tri-State New York Chapter of PAAIA has joined the U.S. Census Bureau’s Regional Partnership Program in order to increase awareness amongst the Iranian American community about the importance of participating in the upcoming 2010 Census.  The regional partnership was launched in concurrence with the PAAIA/NexGen kick-off in New York City on September 17th.  

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.  PAAIA Chapters in Los Angles and Washington, D.C. have also partnered with their U.S. Census Regional Partnership programs. 

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 – the next census is in 2010 and is mandated under the U.S. Constitution (Article 1 section 2).

Census data directly affect how more than $400 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 legislative districts, school district assignment areas and other important functional areas of government. Census data is completely confidential and your responses are protected by law.

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 helped launch the Iranian American 2010 Census Project Coalition, which to date includes the Bay Area Iranian American Voter Association (BAIVOTER), Farhang Foundation, Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB), Iranian American Bar Association (IABA), Iranian Psychological Association of America (IPAA), National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Network of Iranian American Professionals of Orange County (NIPOC), PARSA Community Foundation, Shabeh Jomeh, and the U.S. Census Bureau.  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.

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