OCA-South Florida Chapter joins Asian American Federation of Florida’s Internet March to the Mailbox April 1st, 2010

[Miami, Florida – April 1, 2010] Today, April 1, is the Census Day. OCA – South Florida Chapter, one of over 80 chapters and affiliates of a national Asian Pacific American (APA) social justice organization, is urging the Florida Asians to take part of the 2010 Census to make a difference for the next 10 years in the Asian community and the state where we live.

As of March 31, Florida has recorded only 51% return rate, compared to the national Census return rate of 52%.

“It is very important for you to fill out the Census Form and return it TODAY… the Census Day… to help your COMMUNITY reach an accurate count for our fair share of funding,” says Dennis Murasaki, Vice President of OCA-South Florida Chapter. “If you could not reach the mail box today, you still can mail the Census Form back after April 1. In next few days, US Census Bureau will send out the 2nd waive Census Forms to majority of household. If you have already completed one earlier, you don’t need to do it again. If you misplaced or had not done yet, please fill out this form and mail it back to help your community for better funding to serve you.”

“If you need any assistance to complete your Census Form, there are over hundreds of Questionnaire Assistance Centers in the community,” states Igor Ellis, Treasurer of OCA-South Florida Chapter. “For Chinese, you may visit Coral Springs Chinese Cultural Association in Coral Springs, FL, for the help or call 866-935-2010 in Chinese – Mandarin and 866-872-6868 in English.”

In addition, there are many Be-Counted sites for residents do not receive any Census Forms but want to be counted so they may pick up Be-Counted Census forms in the community. A few of them are in the Asian community including: Chung Hing Oriental Market, PK Oriental Mart, Hong Kong Noodles Restaurant, Little Saigon Restaurant and Dhaka Bazar in North Miami Beach, as well as Coral Springs Chinese Cultural Association in Coral Springs. For more information of Questionnaire Assistance Centers and Be-Counted sites as well as current return rate, please click the link: http://2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/.

“What we do now will affect our community for the next ten years. PLEASE SEND BACK YOUR CENSUS FORM NOW – not later,” states Dr. Joy Bruce, President of Asian American Federation of Florida. “After April 1, we still need you to mail it back if you don’t want any Census worker to knock on your door.”

US Census can make your voice heard.

Asian community and your community can benefit from the $400 billion federal funding for better serving you.

Founded in 1973 and headquartered in Washington, DC, OCA’s mission is to advance the social, political and economic well-being of APAs. OCA-South Florida Chapter is a proud partner with US Census Bureau, members of Asian American Federation of Florida and Florida Chinese Federation of Florida, is partner with NANAY, Inc., United Chinese Association of Florida, Thai-American Association of South Florida, and many others to engaging local communities on health care and immigration reforms, and advocating on state legislation’s Alien Land Law.

OCA-South Florida Chapter | PO Box 562124 | Miami, FL 33256 | 305-753-8791 | F: 305-278-8775 | OCA-SFL@juno.com | http://khung.com/OCA-SFL

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URGENT PRESS RELEASE

Florida Asians Join Internet March to the Mailbox

Miami, Florida – March 31, 2010

Tomorrow, April 1, is Census Day – the day in which all households in the nation are asked to return their 2010 Census forms in the mail. This is the 23rd time that residents of the United States, including Asians, will have been counted as required by Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution. It is only held every 10 years,

A Census undercount can cost billions of dollars in federal funding. In Florida, the PriceWaterHouse Coopers Census Study reported a 200,670 estimated undercount during the 2000 Census, with an approximate loss of $91.6 Million on federal funding of eight major programs over a ten year period, 2002-2012. The eight programs are Medicaid, Foster Care, Rehabilitation Services Basic Support, Child Care and Development Block Grant, Social Services Block Grant, Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, Adoption Assistance, and Vocational Education Basic Grants.

The Asians in Florida, in particular, have received very little support from the government, due to their lack of awareness on how the Census could affect them. The 2000 Census, only 266,256 Asians were counted throughout the State of Florida, with the highest count being recorded in Broward (36,581), Miami (31,753) and Orange County(30,033).

“We have a much higher number than that,” says Dr. Joy Bruce, President of the Asian American Federation of Florida that is pushing for an accurate count of Asians in the State. “It is important for us to get accurately counted so that the government and mainstream media will be aware of how much we are contributing to society, and what kind of services, resources and programs we need to meet the needs of our community.”

The Census helps the government identify where to build new roads, schools, hospitals and important community initiatives and programs important to the Asian population, such as education and English-language programs. It helps identify areas where Asians might need services of particular importance to certain racial or ethnic groups, such as screening for heart disease, strokes or diabetes.

As of March 29, Florida has recorded only 41% return rate, compared to the national Census return rate of 46%.

With only one more day before Census Day, the Asian American Federation of Florida is asking all its members to join the INTERNET MARCH TO THE MAILBOX – by sending this e-mail to all their constituents, families, friends and acquaintances, and encouraging them to send back the Census forms NOW, not later.

“It will make a tremendous difference to the Asians for the next ten years, if we all push for an accurate count NOW,” says Winnie Tang, US Census Partnership Specialist for Florida. “The census is an easy, important and safe way to make a difference in your community.”

• The census is easy. One of the shortest census forms in history, the 2010 Census form asks 10 questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete.

• The census is safe. Participation in the census is required for all citizens and noncitizens, and confidentiality is protected. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ answers with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities. All Census Bureau employees take an oath of nondisclosure and are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of the data. The penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.

What we do now will affect our community for the next ten years. PLEASE SEND BACK YOUR CENSUS FORM NOW – not later.

NANAY and the Asian American Federation of Florida are partners with the 2010 Census. The census will be mailed or delivered to over 130 million households in less than a year, but it’s never too early to start letting people in your community know about it! CENSUS DAY IS APRIL 1, 2010.

Please visit our website at http://www.nanay.com to know about our services to elders and youth.
Please visit our website at www.asianamericanfederation.org to know more about the Asian American community in Florida.
Please visit our website at http://www.ace-international-philippines.org to know more about our projects in the Philippines.

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