Editorial: For most accurate 2010 Census, use as many nationalities as possible
After weeks of discussion that Caribbean Americans and the legislators who vouch for them are seeking to create a new “Caribbean” category on the 2010 Census form, another group has come out of the woodwork to seek space to display their own unique identity: Dominicans.
According to the Dominican Today newspaper, “Dominican residents in the United States launched a nationwide campaign to be included in the 2010 Census, under the auspices of the Dominican Round Table in
which several organizations, elected and government officials take part.
The campaign was announced in a gathering in the Bronx’s San Nicolas Tolentino church, in which City Council and State Assembly members spoke about the initiative.
The strategy seeks to prevent what took place in 2000, when Dominican residents in the U.S. were excluded from the boxes regarding ethnicity of that country’s census. If excluded, Dominican community organizations wouldn’t receive the funds necessary to sustain their social programs.
The campaign “One plus One” also includes Puerto Rico, where several hundred thousand Dominican nationals also reside and demands that the Federal Census Bureau include a box specifying the word “Dominican,” which didn’t figure in the previous census.”
MyTwoCensus wholeheartedly agrees that an “accurate” count means getting as much specific information as possible. We feel that the government should want to know the specific makeup of its people because this knowledge will serve many purposes down the road. For example, knowing the ethnic/national composition of people in a specific area would make it easier and more cost efficient to arrange social services and other benefits for more highly targeted groups of people.
And for the many Americans who identify with more than one ethnic background, people can check off a box for each nationality/ethnicity that represents them.
Since filling out the 2010 Census form is required by law, MyTwoCensus sees many benefits to making this portion of the survey more comprehensive. We don’t believe that sharing additional background information infringes on any individuals’ right to privacy.
Though the 2010 Census is just around the corner, there is still time to improve the paper forms before they are printed. We urge Robert Groves and the U.S. Congress to prioritize this issue and not let petty political bickering stand in the way of taking action to create a form for the 2010 headcount that maximizes the amount of relevant information that it can gather in its 10 short questions.