On National Census Day of Action, AAI Launches “Yalla Count Me In”
WASHINGTON, DC – On April 1, 2019 the Arab American Institute along with a coalition of Arab American organizations formally launches, Yalla Count Me In, a national campaign to Get Out the Count (GOTC) of Arab Americans during the upcoming decennial Census in 2020.
This launch corresponds with the National Day of Action hosted by the Census Counts coalition, civil rights groups who are working to ensure all communities, especially those who are designated as Hard to Count by the Census Bureau, are counted. By beginning early with public outreach and engagement, we believe we can contribute to a more accurate population count in 2020.
The Yalla Count Me In campaign is unique in its approach and messaging. Coordinating with a diverse range of local Arab American organizations across the country who will be leading this effort on the ground in states throughout the country in 2020. The campaign website, which goes live at 2:00 PM EST today, will be a resource hub where individuals and organizations can engage with materials that will help them connect with people, statewide complete count committees, or other organizations working to GOTC in their state.
AAI Executive Director Maya Berry stated,
“For the constitutional mandate to be fulfilled during the 2020 Census, everyone must work to ensure the count is fair as well as accurate. Regrettably, with the actions of the Trump Administration, the census is at risk this year like never before, and that will have a negative impact on everything from our political representation to the resources local communities receive.”
“This is the reality we are working in and we will continue to focus our efforts on protecting the Census and addressing the chronic undercount of the Arab American community. Too much is at stake for all of us if we get the census wrong.”
As part of our policy work on the Census, AAI also submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court today in support of the respondents in New York v. United States Dept. of Commerce, which will be heard before the Supreme Court on April 23, 2019. AAI’s brief recounts the meticulous and data-driven two decade process involved in proposing a MENA (Middle Eastern or North African) category, and highlights the sharp contrast between standard Census procedure and the arbitrary, untested, and last-minute addition of the citizenship question.