Filipino complete Census count committee launched in SF Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO — Filipino American community organizations from six Bay Area counties have formed the regional Bay Area Filipino Complete Count Committee (BAFCCC) to ensure an accurate count of Filipinos in the region for Census 2020 in order to get fitting financial resources and fair political representation.
“More than $675 billion in federal funds are at stake,” said Luisa Antonio, BEC executive director and committee co-chair. “This critical funding shapes our future for the next ten years, particularly for our immigrant community that relies on public transportation, schools, hospitals, senior care, and government-funded community-based programs and services.”
Antonio also noted, “With the current political climate, we need to assure the community that participating in the census is safe and not to be feared.”
The Bay Area is home to around 500,000 Filipinos, according to the 2017 American Community Survey, which represents 12% of the entire 4 million Filipinos in the United States; and 30% of the Filipino residents in the State of California.
Census 2020 presents a number of new challenges: lingering fear about the U.S. citizenship question despite a court ruling that it will not be included; the first-ever digital questionnaire; growing distrust in government, and concerns over data privacy.
Casey Farmer, the executive director of the Alameda County Complete Count Committee, stated, “We worked with our stakeholders, including Filipinos Advancing Justice, to develop our slogan: ‘Our Community Counts. Our Community Belongs’. This speaks to the power that is at the center of the Census and the power that is lost if people do not get counted.”
Through a structured outreach and education campaign, the committee will utilize the local knowledge and expertise of long-trusted Filipino organizations to reach those most vulnerable to an undercount.
Bernadette Sy, executive director of the Filipino American Development Foundation and committee co-chair, said, “Our organizations have been providing services and organizing in the Filipino community for decades to understand and advocate for their needs. It will take all of us to be messengers about how the census is an opportunity for us to better serve our community.”
The BAFCCC is launching its logo and tagline: “Kabilang Tayo sa Kinabukasan”, “Be Counted for our Future” to affirm that Filipinos need to be counted and are a part of shaping our future.
The Bay Area Filipino Complete Count Committee consists of Bayanihan Equity Center, Filipino American Development Foundation, Filipino Advocates for Justice, LEAD-Filipino, South of Market Community Action Network and other groups from East Bay, San Francisco, and Peninsula-area, and South Bay.