This week, representatives from the U.S. Census Bureau paid a visit to We Are Oceania (WAO). The reps arranged a sit-down with Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF) and WAO leadership.
The group discussed the 2020 census, including what our Native Hawaiian and Micronesian communities can expect and why an accurate census count is so important.
“We appreciate the opportunity to work together,” said Director of the U.S. Census Bureau Steven Dillingham. “We need an understanding of what the communities around the country are facing.”
One area of concern brought up by We Are Oceania staff was the worry that data collected by the census would be turned over to authorities, especially regarding housing or numbers of families in households.
The representatives assured that the data is not turned over to authorities, and that what is collected (name, age, address) can just as easily be found on the internet. There was no mention of the current contested citizenship question.
Joske Bautista, Special Assistant to the Director, emphasized the need to learn from communities. Echoing the sentiments of his colleagues, he described the immense value in setting up partnerships with organizations “on the ground” who work with local populations every day — organizations like We Are Oceania and Partners in Development Foundation.
To learn more about the census, visit census.gov.