In an unprecedented move, the U.S. Census Bureau has decided to plan for the testing of a new classification for people from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, for possible inclusion in the 2020 Census.
This designation will serve as a resource to policy makers, federal and local officials, public institutions, service organizations and the public, in assessing the status and needs of Arab-American communities, which have been underserved, in no small part due to lacking statistics and data. These overlooked needs range from education to economics to health care.
Before the Bureau may proceed with testing in 2015, a public comment period is required by law.
Guidelines dictate that 5,000 positive comments must be made, in order to support Census testing for the inclusion of the MENA category. These comments must be entered before the end of the comment period of February 1, 2015. Urgent action is necessary. If the deadline is missed, there will not be another opportunity to voice support until 2025.
Please click here to send a pre-drafted letter to Jennifer Jessup, Census Bureau official. The more positive comments the Bureau receives about this action, the greater the chances it will continue with testing and other future steps toward including MENA as an official Census classification.