If you could change your community for the better in 10 minutes, wouldn’t you do it?

Wouldn’t life in your community be better if:

— You had access to new hospitals and senior centers or enhanced health care services for ill or aging family members?

— Your children could learn in new or improved schools or child care centers?

— Your commute to work was safer and less congested thanks to better roads or expanded public transportation options?

— Your local emergency services providers had up-to-date maps to ensure faster response in a crisis?

Well, it really is that easy. I know, I know, the census seems like a pain to deal with, but the truth is the 2010 Census is more important than ever before.

Participation in the census is easy, important and safe. One of the shortest census forms in history, the 2010 Census form asks 10 questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete.

By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ answers with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities.

The 2010 Census is a major civil rights issue for this year, especially for under-represented communities. Too often, the phrase “civil rights” prompts recollections of sometimes violent, often antagonized, protesters taking the streets to fight for their rights.

And while such outpourings of action deserve acknowledgment in their own right, the phrase “civil rights” is not solely restricted to these mass gatherings. Rather, the struggle for civil rights is often one that is simple and goes unnoticed: it is as easy as completing a short census questionnaire, registering to vote, or writing a letter to an elected representative in Congress.

During the last two censuses, the Census Bureau missed counting millions of people, mainly low-income communities, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, and people living in urban areas. Undercounting certain populations may reduce federal funding for hospitals, education, child-care, disaster preparation — as well as fair representation in Congress.

We cannot risk another decade of under-allocated resources and underreported numbers.

As a local community partner of the Youth Census Advocacy Project and Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIA Vote), Pi Delta Psi Fraternity Inc. at the University of Colorado strives to improve the nationwide participation of Asian and Pacific Islander populations in the 2010 Census.

We have reached out to organizations on campus, in Boulder and in Denver. Please feel free to visit our Web site to see what we are up to at apiavote.org/ycap.

While we strive to address the particularly challenging obstacles that face Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in successfully completing the census, we are encouraging everyone in the Boulder community to make sure they are being counted.

Remember, it is still not too late. Your participation is still vital. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to stand up and be counted! Make sure to tell friends and family as well!

If you have any questions, lost your census form, or would like more information, please contact the Boulder Complete Count Committee at 303-441-4293 or census@bouldercolorado.gov.

Jeffrey Tran is a CU junior and the treasurer of Pi Delta Psi Fraternity Inc.

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