This year, a new Mayoral Internship project was created, called the Census 2020 Project. With a motto of “Let’s get counted for a better future,” their goal is to help raise awareness about the importance of an accurate count, and encourage people to participate.
The purpose of a census is to determine the number of people living in a certain area so that funding can be fairly distributed. This money goes into schools and public services. When people do not participate in the census, millions of dollars are lost in funding and the state risks being underrepresented in government.
So far, the project has made great strides in accomplishing their goal. In December, they met with the Chinese Information and Service Center’s Census Complete Count Committee, which is a volunteer-based committee who aims to motivate people into participating in the Census. After presenting their ideas and goals, the project was given feedback by the committee. They were pleased to find that the committee was impressed by their proposal and plan of action.
Next, the Census Project raised awareness through the Seattle Chinese Radio Station with Conrad Lee. With the help of some bilingual members on the project, they were able to translate their materials into Mandarin. This way, people who primarily speak Mandarin and not English will also become more aware of the census and its importance. A recording of their radio session can be found here, and documents translated to Mandarin for the census are here.
The Bellevue Mayoral Internship Census Project is not the only project in the greater Seattle area raising awareness on this topic. In January, they were able to connect and get up-to-date on the recent census efforts with other census projects. They were also able to meet and speak with representatives from the Bellevue District and Lake Washington School Districts, Immigration Coalition, and other organizations.
Next, the project shared their goals and efforts at a Bellevue City Council Townhall Meeting. The councilmembers were happy to see high schoolers being so active in their community. A video of the meeting can be found here.
The team was also invited to participate in the Chinese Information and Service Center’s Mandarin Census Promotional Video. A series of four videos is being filmed, targeted at the Chinese population in Washington. The video has not been completed, but will be shared here once it is!
Most recently, the Census Project met with Judy Buckmaster, the executive director of Community Development of Bellevue School District. She was able to approve the census education materials created by the project. Those materials have more been shared with the Social Studies Curriculum Developer of Bellevue School District, who will distribute it to all social studies teachers in the district.
The Census Project hopes to reach out to the PTSA and school newsletters of each district to help raise awareness among students and their families. They are also planning to meet with school boards and hand out census resources to social studies teachers to educate their classes. By using social media platforms such as Instagram, the project will reach the younger generations and help raise awareness on the importance of an accurate count. They also intend on continuing their partnerships with other census organizations.
How to Help
Participate in the census, and make sure that your family and friends also do so! Ask about showing a census awareness presentation in class, or make a schoolwide announcement. Your efforts can help our community gain thousands more in funding!
Follow the Census Project’s progress on Instagram @ CensusOutreach2020