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New York Counts 2020 at OCA APA Advocates & Family for Children from China’s "Asian American in 2018" Conference

On September 30th, at OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates & Family for Children from China’s “Asian American in 2018 Conference”, several New York Counts 2020 members spoke on the panel, “(Census) 2020 Vision for the Future”. The engaged crowd of Asian Americans, ranging from high school students to seniors, assembled at PS 124 in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

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The panel featured the co-chairs of the New York Counts 2020 Training Committee Quinn Rhi (Civic Participation Senior Associate at MinKwon Center for Community Action) and  Amy Torres, (Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Chinese-American Planning Council), Liz OuYang, New York Immigration Coalition Census Consultant and Census Coordinator at New York Counts 2020, and Addy Zou, NYIC Census Intern.

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Rhi began by presenting statistics on Asian American voters in the midterm elections. Using the case study of State Senate District 11, Rhi emphasized that a disproportionately small number of mid-term voters shape the circumstances leading up to the 2020 elections and 2021 redistricting. Moreover, a whopping 54.39% of the eligible APA population in NY is not registered, pushing the crowd to consider what factors contribute to this number.

Next, Torres spoke to the importance of the census as a civic duty. Torres effectively demonstrated how the census impacts the lives of our loved ones by telling the crowd to imagine a 7 year old child in 2020 and all the resources that a child needs to grow up happy and healthy. Torres asked the audience, “What park will your child play in? As they become a teenager, what part-time jobs will be available in your are? What will be the conditions of roads they drive on? Will they have access to a college counselor or resources?” She drove the point home that if you do not complete the census in 2020, you and your family won’t be taken into consideration for the distribution of resources for the next 10 years.

OuYang covered the critical issues surrounding the citizenship question, contextualizing the federal government’s decision amidst its relentless anti-immigrant rhetoric. She then updated the crowd on the ongoing lawsuit, including Commerce Secretary Ross’ upcoming deposition.

Lastly, Zou gave a crash course on another initiative to limit immigrant participation: the proposed rule for public charge which would impact an immigrant’s eligibility for permanent residence.  Her presentation included which immigrants are targeted, which public benefits are at risk, and the timeline for the rulemaking process.

If you have general questions related to public charge, you should call the New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636. The hotline is free and anonymous, and help is available in many languages.

Elizabeth Plum