(from left to right) Regional Census Director Ralph Lee, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, Deputy Mayor of Bellevue Conrad Lee.As part of peak advertising campaign of 2010 Census, the Census Road Tour made a stop at Chinatown International District’s Hing Hay Park on Sunday March 28th. The short appearance included several government officials: Seattle Mayor McGinn, Bellevue Deputy Mayor Conrad Lee, and Census Regional Director Ralph Lee; as well as many community leaders. The Census Road Tour started in January this year. Each vehicle of the 13 Census regions will visit more than a total of 800 events and gatherings throughout the entire U.S. This region’s vehicle will make its last stop at Seattle Center on April 13th.

(from left to right) Regional Census Director Ralph Lee, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, Deputy Mayor of Bellevue Conrad Lee.As part of peak advertising campaign of 2010 Census, the Census Road Tour made a stop at Chinatown International District’s Hing Hay Park on Sunday March 28th. The short appearance included several government officials: Seattle Mayor McGinn, Bellevue Deputy Mayor Conrad Lee, and Census Regional Director Ralph Lee; as well as many community leaders.
 
The Census Road Tour started in January this year. Each vehicle of the 13 Census regions will visit more than a total of 800 events and gatherings throughout the entire U.S. This region’s vehicle will make its last stop at Seattle Center on April 13th.
 
Besides educating and raising awareness, the tour vehicle provides a mobile Question Assistance Center staffed by a Census Bureau employee to help people in filling out the census form.
 
All the speakers at the event stressed the importance of census participation.
 
As Deputy Mayor Conrad Lee puts it, the Chinese culture values money and power. Higher population count will bring in more federal funding and a stronger representation at all levels in the government.
 
Derek Wing, Director of Communications and Outreach at National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) mentioned it is “important to share the message with friends especially in this community”. Furthermore, NAPCA offers a Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin) helpline at 1-800-582-4218 for any senior who needs help with completing the census form and other pertinent issues.
 
The immediate area surrounding International District has a comparatively low return rate of the census forms so far. As of March 30th, the current data shows the participation rate to be just below 45%, compared to the national average of 50%. The data are updated around the daily at the “Take 10 Map” – www.2010census.gov/2010census/take10map/
 
Other information on www.2010census.gov includes telephone assistance, and locations of Questionnaire Assistance Center and Be Counted sites. The local Chinese Information and Service Center and the many Seattle Public Library branches are examples of some of the locations. (left) Derek Wing, Director of Communications and Outreach at NAPCA; (right) Sturgis Robinson, Manager of the Seattle Census Office
 
The crowd showed lots of energy when taking souvenirs from the organizers. It was difficult to form the lines and maintain order on a few occasions. There were also several performances including Lion Dance, Dragon Dance, Coconut Dance, Chinese Folk Dance, Tai Chi demonstration, and Acapella Choral singing. 
 
Participation in census helps the community in many ways; such as receiving a larger allocation of the $400 billion yearly federal funding, which in turns may increase health services, improve education programs for grade schools and adults, fulfill transportation and housing needs, etc.
 
Businesses will benefit from a higher census participation rate as the local government will have more resources to plan local market needs. The public census data will also allow entrepreneurs to have better insight from the demographics.

 

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