GLENDALE, Calif.—As the rapidly expanding COVID-19 pandemic has consumed virtually all aspects of American society, one longstanding constitutional tradition—the US Census—is also underway. Millions of American households have already received invitation letters in the mail from the Census Bureau that include a unique 12-digit code, making it easier to respond to the 2020 Census. With or without the code, people can visit the website (my2020census.gov) and follow the simple instructions to complete the census questionnaire online in a matter of minutes. Additional options include completing the form over the phone or by mail—all without having to interact in person with a census enumerator.
Every year, the federal government allocates close to $700 billion in funding to support vital services and programs offered to communities throughout the country. It is critical that everyone residing in the U.S., regardless of their age or citizenship status, participate. The data we provide is used for aggregate statistical purposes only and is kept strictly confidential for 72 years and cannot be disclosed to any other agency or used against any person.
The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR), as the premier Armenian-American nonpartisan grassroots advocacy organization, has partnered with the Census Bureau and other stakeholders to raise awareness and ensure a complete count of the Armenian community. While we estimate the number of Armenian-Americans to be over 1.5 million, census data captures fewer than 500,000. Historically, the Armenian community has been undercounted, resulting in missed tens of millions of dollars in funding for community services including (but not limited to):
- Funding programs and educational resources in Armenian schools;
- Servicing our elderly population through in-home care and nursing tailored to the needs of the Armenian community;
- Funding healthcare and medical services in Armenian communities;
- Armenian language services to accommodate our community needs;
And with the Census also determining how Congressional districts are apportioned, a complete count of the Armenian community will help maximize our collective voice in 2020 and the next decade ahead.
In order for our community to secure funding for these vital services, it is crucial that we mark our identity as “Armenian” on Question 9 of the Census questionnaire under the “White” or “Some Other Race” categories.
HyeCount Initiative has also launched a social media challenge, calling on our community to help spread awareness and build momentum on the Census campaign by sharing photos of their families using the hashtag #BigFatArmenianFamily and challenging friends to complete the questionnaire and post a photo of their own.