We are 2/3 of Arab American Institute’s Policy Team! Ryan J. Suto is AAI’s in house Policy Counsel. Suher is regarded as the “Arab American Census Guru” for her work on all things 2020 Census but she prefers to go by Suher. She has been running the Yalla Count Me In campaign, the national Arab American Get-Out-The-Count effort aimed at encouraging Arab Americans to participate in the 2020 Census. Arab Americans are designated as a Hard to Count community. That is to say that Arab Americans are severely undercounted. The Census Bureau estimated that in 2017 there were 2.2 million Arab Americans in the United States whereas AAI’s research finds that number to be around double at 3.7 million. AAI along with other Ancestry Working Group members advocated for the inclusion for the Middle Eastern North African (MENA) category as option for the race & ethnicity portion of the questionnaire. In 2018 the Office of Management and Budget in the Trump White House decided they would not pursue the MENA category. AAI has ongoing litigation with the Office of Management and Budget surrounding the decision to not add a Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) category to the 2020 census, and filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court’s citizenship question case. The organizations work on the Census began in the late 1980’s as an official partner with the Census Bureau. Since 2001, AAI has served as a Census Information Center partner charged with data dissemination and aggregation on Arab Americans.

Proof: https://i.redd.it/agg67zn9o5r31.jpg

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  1. There has been a lot of reporting around the White House and Trump Administration’s attempts to rig the Census by adding a citizenship question. Many people speculate that this is an attempt to intimidate non-citizens, minorities, or both into not responding to the Census, thus artificially and incorrectly reducing Census estimates of minority populations.

    What is your organization doing to combat attempts to marginalize minority populations and deny them their Constitutional right to equal representation?

  2. I am of an opinion that race and racial questions serve little or no real purpose, they should be negated. Citizen a and citizen b are of the same importance and requirements regardless of any origin stories, myths or cultural ambiguities,

  3. What do you think is the motivation for the Trump administration’s exclusion of the MENA census questionnaire category? I guess, why has the Trump admin argued it is not necessary? Thank you!

  4. I live in Houston, TX where there are a lot of Arab Americans, but most of my community isn’t talking about the census. How are you advising people to fill out the census without an Arab category, and how can I help spread the word in an accessible way?

  5. Since Facebook is allowing paid ads that include misinformation from candidates, what’s your plan to combat Census misinformation from Trump & others who want to discourage a count? They will likely do so with paid ads that Facebook will allow.

  6. I understand that Arab Americans tend to be a strongly Democratic leaning populace, and they tend to cluster in a urban areas across the country, which also lean Democratic. Do you think this effectively dilutes the possible political strength of Arab Americans?


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