Counting Philly’s Cambodians in the 2020 census: ‘We aren’t invisible’

With about one month to go until Census Day, April 1, it’s crunch time for job fairs hiring on-the-ground enumerators to count hard-to-reach communities.

On Saturday, the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia hosted its final Census Champion training — an initiative by the city’s Philly Counts Office for the 2020 Census to train community members to become neighborhood messengers on the census. It also hosted a U.S. Census Bureau job fair. Philadelphia is hoping to hire 3,000 temporary workers to knock on doors in May to count people who did not respond to the census online, over the phone, or via mail.

Sarun Chan, the association’s executive director, said reaching Philly’s Cambodian community — many of whose members live in immigrant enclaves in North and South Philadelphia — is crucial this time around. Philadelphia has the fourth largest Cambodian population among U.S. cities. According to 2010 census estimates, roughly 10,000 Cambodians lived in Philadelphia.

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