The United States 2010 Census is an important head count of
every resident of this country regardless of their race, gender and occupation.
What makes the 2010 Census so significant is that the head count takes place only
every 10 years. The last census, collected
in 2000, counted less Laotian-Americans than the actual numbers at the time.
Mr. Sourichanh (Noi/Sirch) Chanthyasack, President/Chair of
the Laotian American National Alliance (LANA) a national 501c3 advocacy
organization founded in 1999 based in Washington, D.C., speaking by phone from
his San Francisco residence, talked to VOA about the role of his organization in
leading efforts to encourage members of the multi-ethnic Laotian American
community across the nation to participate in the upcoming decennial US Census.
Census 2010 is the most important decision and opportunity in a decade that
will dramatically affect our community in a positive or negative way. That all
depends on our actions…to be counted or not, and to be correctly counted to
help our community everyone who cares and supports the multi-ethnic people of
Laos, manually write Laotian on their 2010 Census form. It's safe, easy, and
important! 10 questions 10 minutes on the form," explained Sourichanh.
Sourichanh also discussed his organization: "LANA has been around since 1999, a national
non-profit organization (501 c3). We are all volunteers and there's no paid
staff. No one is paid, there's no funding. LANA is taking a lead in this
because it's the most important thing we can do to help our community in ten
years. It's so important that if we sleep on this again, we are going to miss
out another ten years and we can't afford that. We are young refugees to
this country, over thirty years or so, compared to the Chinese, Filipinos, Japanese,
Koreans and others, we are still behind. Even the Vietnamese and Lao-Hmong have
gotten into the game to advocate to their respective communities and know how
to work the system to benefit their community. So we need to really wake up. And
LANA is taking a lead because …there's no one doing it, and not because we want
to do it, but we have to do it. The other thing is that we don't want to take a
lead, but we want to motivate, mobilize, connect, and share the information
with the multi-ethnic Lao community. Also, LANA is an official National Partner
of US Census. The reason is not because we are special, but because we are a national
The importance of the Census 2010 is that it affects the number of seats of
each of the 50 states in the U.S. House of Representative of the United States Congress,
and will determine where the $400 billion per year federal funding go which
impacts services to our community and non-profit work in the areas of
school, education, language translation, health, senior care, housing, jobs,
and much more.
For more information about 2010 Census and US Census
Bureau, please visit www.2010Census.gov
. Please contact your local US Census office for more details and for an
additional info about helping the multi-ethnic Laotian American community to be
counted correctly in Census 2010….please contact LANA (Laotian American
National Alliance) at http://www.lana-usa.org/
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen to audio files for more details.