Sikh Coalition to train volunteers for accurate headcount in Census 2020

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Thousands gathered at Times Square for Turban Day organized by the non-profit Sikhs of New York, April 7, where more than 9,000 turbans were tied to establish a Guinness record on most turbans tied at one place. (Photo: Peter Ferreira)

Within the next two months, the Sikh Coalition, an advocacy organization for Indian-Americans of the Sikh faith, plans to begin training volunteers who can help members of the community fill the 2020 Census forms which begin being mailed nationwide that month.

In a Jan. 13, 2020 press release, the Sikh Coalition said in the lead-up to the mid-March mailing of initial census forms, the Sikh Coalition will recruit and train volunteers at gurdwaras across the country who will help community members submit their census information online “in a safe and supportive environment.”

Those who are interested in assisting with this work should email community@sikhcoalition.org, the press release said.

This endeavor is a “formal partnership” with the United States Census Bureau in advance of the 2020 census. And As a formal partner of the Census Bureau, the Sikh Coalition is committed to raising census awareness and participation among the Sikh community, the organization said.

“The Sikh Coalition is partnering with the Census Bureau because Sikhs have traditionally been a ‘hard to count’ population in the United States,” Satjeet Kaur, executive director of Sikh Coalition is quoted saying in the press release. “Our community matters, and we want to make sure that Sikh families are appropriately counted and accurately resourced wherever they are across our country,” she added.

The initial work will therefore focus initially on informing the community that completing census forms is simple, safe, and essential.

The census is a national headcount undertaken by the U.S. government every 10 years. The Census form asks a series of simple demographic questions about all members of each household in the nation.

“Because an accurate count is the goal, the census never asks about citizenship,” the Sikh Coalition said, adding, “It is safe for everyone, regardless of their immigration status, to fill out the census.”

Data from the census ultimately determines how the government allocates resources for things like schools, hospitals, roads, and parks; where businesses choose to move and invest; and how legislative seats and electoral votes are allocated.
Throughout 2020, the Sikh Coalition said it will be launching new initiatives to increase civic engagement. These efforts, including 2020 census and “Get Out The Vote” projects.

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