Filipino census committee targets hard-to-count population with upcoming fairs
Community groups rallied for more civic engagement at the State Capitol today.
The free outreach event called "All In for a Better Hawaii" pushes the importance of being counted in U.S. Census and voting in this year's elections.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, each person counted represents $1,800 in federal funding per year over the next decade.
Immigrants are traditionally undercounted. Despite being an ethnic majority in Hawaii, the Filipino Complete Count Committee reports its group is difficult to count due to language barriers and sometimes mistrust.
"It's very difficult to get them to respond to a paper, especially the older generation, and put in all the information that they think might be a little bit intrusive. I think if we make sure that they trust the source, we're able to achieve our objectives," said Bennette Misalucha, committee chair.
The committee says it's hosting three events targeted toward Filipinos to dispel myths about what collected information will be used for, especially for those who are undocumented or are uncertain about their immigration status.
"We're going to have Filipino census fairs across three hard to count populations. So we're going to have one in Waipahu, one in Kalihi and one in Eva Beach," said Annie Sokol, partnership specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau, who is working with community organizations to get the word out.
The Waipahu event will be on February 22 at Waipahu High School from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The Eva Beach event will be on March 7 at James Campbell High School. And the Kalihi fair will be on March 21 at a location to be announced.