My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Posts Tagged ‘parade’

Editorial: Those hard to count Jews…not!

Monday, June 1st, 2009

censusfloatisraelparade

Last week, MyTwoCensus criticized the Census Bureau’s lack of a parade float in San Francisco’s annual Carnaval parade, a celebration of Central American, South American, and Caribbean cultures. Thanks to the above photo, submitted to us by Sharon Udasin, ace New York-based reporter for The Jewish Week, MyTwoCensus now knows that the Census Bureau does in fact have the resources and capabilities to create such a float.  The float depicted above was paraded through the streets of Manhattan during yesterday’s Salute to Israel parade, a celebration of 61 years of Israeli independence.

Whereas many Latino/a immigrants are considered “hard to reach” because of their questionable legal status in America, this isn’t a problem amongst the Jewish and Israeli communities in New York. Even though New York’s thousands of Hasidic Jews (mostly living in Brooklyn) may speak Yiddish in their homes, nearly all of them speak fluent English and are citizens of the United States.

This begs the question: Why did the Census Bureau choose to sponsor a large float in the Israeli Independence Day parade in New York but not at the Carnaval parade in San Francisco?

To our readers: If you have been to any public events that have featured public relations efforts by the Census Bureau, please feel free to comment and share with us what you witnessed.

Editorial: Census Bureau Squanders Outreach Opportunity in San Francisco

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

On Sunday, the Carnaval parade in San Francisco’s Mission District brought together tens of thousands of individuals, most of whom who are members of ethnic minority groups. Dozens of Central American, South American, and Caribbean nationalities were represented. All of these people are classified as “hard to reach individuals” by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In addition to the elaborate floats that represented community organizations, schools, arts organizations, and more, government agencies like BART and government partners such as the Sunset Scavengers had their own floats. One organization that was noticeably absent from the parade was the United States Census Bureau.

For a government agency that always touts how many millions of dollars it will save for each household that returns Census forms on time (by Census Day, April 1, 2010), the Census Bureau’s outreach to self-proclaimed “hard to reach” groups has been sub-par.

Yes, the Census Bureau had a tiny stall staffed by two bilingual workers at Carnaval’s accompanying festival. However this stall was inadequate as only a fraction of the people who attended the parade walked past it, let alone stopped to speak with representatives.

Hopefully the Census Bureau will learn from this mistake and correct this problem for next year’s festivities, which fall after Census Day, but before all of the surveys are due back to the federal government.