Saturday, February 6, 2010


February 6, 2010 No. 86

In this issue
Republican "Census" Mailing Draws Criticism
The Rest of the News ...
Stakeholder Spotlight
New Resources for Census Advocates


REST OF THE NEWS: Vietnamese translation concerns, poll on Hispanic census views, upcoming congressional hearings, and more.
STAKEHOLDER SPOTLIGHT: Bus ads, apps, iTunes, and more.


The Republican National Committee (RNC) is drawing criticism from survey researchers and census experts for an issues survey and fundraising appeal labeled "Congressional District Census." The mailing, which appears to have been sent to Republicans across the country, says "Do Not Destroy: Official Document" and bears a "census tracking code" on the outside envelope.

Dr. Barbara Bryant, Census Director from 1989 - 1993 (appointed by President George H.W. Bush) and a recipient of the mailing, told RNC Chairman Michael Steele in a letter that, "from its timing and by the official-looking design of its envelope," the materials are "blatantly attempting to interfere with the United States' 2010 Census of the Population." The envelope and enclosed survey are "clearly intended to confuse recipients," Dr. Bryant said, and would "affect response to the nation's 23rd decennial census." She called upon the RNC to "disassociate" itself from the mailing, which the former director said could "hurt your party in counts for apportionment and redistricting in swing and Republican districts."

Dr. Peter Miller, president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and a professor of Communications Studies at Northwestern University, also sent a letter to Mr. Steele, expressing concern that the mailing violated acceptable standards of professionally conducted research and represented an example of "frugging" - fundraising under the guise of research - which the association considers a violation of the principle that surveys should not mix research and fundraising. Dr. Miller noted that using the term "Census" in the RNC mailing is particularly unfortunate and could potentially damage participation in the 2010 census.


Asian American groups commend new Vietnamese translations: The Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), International Children Assistance Network, and Asian American Law Alliance commended the Census Bureau's "swift" action to change Vietnamese translations of the words "census" and "enumerator" in on-line materials after Asian American advocates expressed concern that some of the translations were "inaccurate and even culturally inappropriate." In a February 1 press statement, AAJC's director of census and voting programs, Terry Ao, said replacement of the inappropriate translations in on-line materials demonstrated "Director [Robert] Groves' and the Census Bureau's commitment to counting everyone, no matter how challenging that may be." The groups noted that it was too late for the Census Bureau to revise printed materials in Vietnamese for the 2010 census, including the language assistance guide and Vietnamese language questionnaire. They applauded the Census Bureau, however, for "proactively" taking steps to update its language reference dictionary, which provides translations for commonly used census terms.

Poll on Hispanic census views: Media company Telemundo and survey market research company Ipsos joined forces to conduct a poll of opinions and attitudes about the 2010 census among Hispanics in the United States. The survey was conducted from November 19, 2009 to January 10, 2010, before the Census Bureau launched paid census advertisements and the awareness phase of its multi-million dollar communications campaign. The poll found that the "vast majority" of Hispanics intend to be counted in the census, with nearly 9 in 10 Hispanics agreeing that a complete count of everyone living in the United States is important and beneficial for their community. More than half of survey respondents said they had confidence in the confidentiality of census responses.

The poll also found that only half of Hispanics know "a little" or "a lot" about the decennial census, a lower level of familiarity with the decennial count than among the U.S. population at large (52% v. 65%). Go to for more information on the poll's findings.

Hispanic advocates criticize lack of Texas census committee: The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) Southwest regional office criticized Texas leaders for failing to establish a Census Complete Count Committee and notified its supporters that it had formed a Texas Latino Complete Count Committee. According to a February 2 article in Somos Austin, almost 40 states have formed official committees, which the Census Bureau encourages, to help promote census participation. A spokeswoman for Governor Rick Perry told the newspaper that the state would "look at ways to help ensure" that all Texans are counted. A search of the state's website did not turn up any reference to a Complete Count Committee.

House hearing scheduled on paid media campaign: The House Subcommitee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives (Committee on Oversight and Government Reform), chaired by Rep. William "Lacy" Clay (D-MO), will hold a hearing on February 10 to review the 2010 census paid media campaign, with a focus on the targeted campaigns to reach historically hard-to-count communities. The hearing is scheduled for 10:00AM in Room 2247 Rayburn House Office Building. Invited witnesses include Census Director Robert Groves and representatives of national advocacy organizations engaged in census outreach to hard-to-count population groups.

Senate hearing scheduled on census operational readiness: The Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security (Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs), chaired by Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE), will hold a hearing on February 11 to review the status of key census operations. The subcommittee's examination will highlight final testing of the Operating Control System, which will manage all activities related to Nonresponse Follow-Up and subsequent field operations; last fall's Group Quarters Validation operation; roll-out of the 2010 Census Communications Campaign; and the status of address list updating. The hearing is scheduled for 2:30PM in Room 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building. Invited witnesses include Dr. Groves, Commerce Inspector General Todd Zinser, and Robert Goldenkoff, Director of Strategic Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).


The Leadership Conference Education Fund (LCEF) unveiled a second set of bus advertisements in eight cities, with the goal of encouraging census participation in historically hard-to-count communities. The bus ads link an accurate census to funding for education, affordable housing, job creation, and other services. The ads - in English-Chinese and English-Spanish - are appearing from February 1 through April 25 in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Seattle. LCEF also is sponsoring digital billboards in Phoenix. LCEF and its four census partner organizations - Asian American Justice Center; NAACP; National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund; and National Congress of American Indians - launched the It's Time. Make Yourself Count. campaign last year.

LCEF is planning Census Super Bowl parties in New Orleans and Miami, with cups, coasters, and other promotional items designed to draw attention to the upcoming count. The civil rights group will distribute census-themed magnet calendars for the Lunar New Year later this month. On March 6 - 7, the LCEF campaign will focus on the business community, canvassing stores in hard-to-count neighborhoods to encourage census outreach to their customers (such as displaying census posters and putting fliers in shopping bags).

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
, a non-profit advocacy organization for Americans of South Asian ancestry, launched its Census 2010: South Asians Count! Campaign to promote participation in the census. The campaign's web site offers fact sheets translated into Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi, Tamil, and Urdu; information about answering the census race question; translated promotional videos; and contact information for local advocates. SAALT also will host a webinar on March 3 to discuss the collection of data on race in the census.

There's an app for that!: Voto Latino kicked off its 2010 census campaign with actor Wilmer Valderrama and members of Congress at a Capitol Hill press conference on February 3. The civic engagement organization has created a series of radio PSAs and videos to promote census participation in the Latino community. The campaign includes a new web site, Be Counted, Represent!, with multi-media tools to spread census messages and information, and features a census pledge in exchange for 25 free iTunes, as well as a new iPhone app.

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is hosting a webinar on "How To Be Involved in the Indian Country Counts Campaign," to discuss strategies for reaching American Indians and Alaska Natives with effective census messaging. Send an e-mail to if you would like to participate in the February 10th (2:00PM EST) event. NCAI also is hosting a census art competition.


✍ The Census 2010 Hard To Count mapping website, developed by the CUNY Mapping Service at the Graduate Center, now features links to state Complete Count Committee websites. Click on a state and then the "Local Resources" tab to pull up these and other helpful links by geographic area.

✍ The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) website features census information specific to the Latino civil rights organization's four regions. Visitors to the site can find facts about the Latino population in hard-to-count communities and suggestions for outreach activities and can download palm cards to distribute at community events and religious services.


2010 Census Web Site : The Census Bureau's new 2010 census web site offers useful basic information on the census process, as well as sample questionnaires, information on job opportunities, and in-language materials. Add it to your "Bookmarks" bar to track mail response rates daily for your state and locality starting in late March.

2010 Census Web Site in Spanishy: New official 2010 census Spanish language web site.

2010 Census Jobs : Visit this web page to download a Census Practice Test and find information about the application process and a Local Census Office near you.

The Census Project : Visit the Census Project web site for previous Census News Briefs, fact sheets, and a weekly blog in support of an accurate 2010 census. Become a fan of the Census Project on Facebook at

Census 2010 Interactive Hard To Count Mapping Site : This new mapping site, developed by the City University of New York Mapping Services at the Graduate Center, allows users to pinpoint hard-to-count census tracts and identify the socio-economic characteristics that contribute to difficult enumeration conditions, allowing advocates to target outreach and tailor messages. The URL is

Leadership Conference Education Fund : The LCEF 2010 Census campaign offers fact sheets, a toolkit, data on the census undercount, and promotional materials to reach historically hard-to-count communities.

Nonprofits Count: The Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network's 2010 census campaign features fact sheets, a toolkit, posters and swag, and state-specific resources to help nonprofits promote census participation.

ya es hora ¡HAGASE CONTAR¡ : Resources and promotional materials, in Spanish and English, targeting the Latino population.

National Urban League
: This Census Information Center web page includes links to demographic information on the Black population, job opportunities, and other 2010 census materials.

Asian American Justice Center
: Resources and information, including in-language census forms, targeting the Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations.

Indian Country Counts : Region-specific information, events, job listings, and tools for the American Indian and Alaska Native populations.

Census News Briefs are prepared by Terri Ann Lowenthal, an independent legislative and policy consultant specializing in the census and federal statistics. All views expressed in the News Briefs are solely those of the author. Please direct questions about the information in this News Brief to Ms. Lowenthal at Please feel free to circulate this document to other interested individuals and organizations. Ms. Lowenthal is a consultant to the nonpartisan Census Project, organized by the Communications Consortium Media Center in Washington, DC. Previous Census News Briefs are posted at

Contact information:
(tel.) 203-353-4364

1 comment:

  1. Hi TerriAnn,

    Can you add link to your blog? Thanks for your support of the Census 2010 and the Vietnamese community in the U.S.