2020 Civic Leadership Forum

Nick Kuwada – The County and its census efforts via “Count Me In”

Keynote Topic: Census: The Important of Counting Children

Speaker: Nick Kuwada: Manager at Census 2020 Program Office of the Census

Nick works as the program manager for the Santa Clara County Office of the Census and leader for the “Count Me In” 2020 County campaign.  His team believes that all residents have the right to be counted regardless of their legal status, income, race or living circumstances.  Santa Clara residents must stand up so we can receive our fair share of political representation in a very divided Congress as well as federal financial resources that pay for our most important safety net programs.  Together, we must find a way to overcome fear and suspicion to ensure the future success of our communities.

Before joining the County, he helped lead Asian Law Alliance’s Civic Engagement program that focused on engaging immigrants and youth to register to vote, learn about the ballot, and get out to vote.  Nick sees the future of our democracy though a new generation of voters who think and feel different that its predecessors.  He knows that there is excitement and a drive in our youth that will change the face of politics from left-right to a more thoughtful discussion about issues.  Nick graduated from the University of Utah double majoring in economics and english with a minor in mathematics.  He got his JD from Willamette University.

Trailer: Asian American & Pacific Islander Civic Leadership Summit- Stepping up to 2020

The 2019 Silicon Valley Asian American & Pacific Islander Civic Leadership Summit is a special community event bringing together community-based organizations, public officials, activists, legislative staff, professionals, and students.

With a theme of “Stepping Up to 2020”, anticipated outcomes of the 2019 Civic Leadership Summit will include identification of issues affecting our community, AAPI community involvement for a 2020 Census complete count and voter registration, and increasing civic participation.


Summit Event: AAPI & Census 2020 Complete Count, 1:20 pm 

  • Moderator: Edwin Tan, AACI Director of Advocacy & Development
  • Nick Kuwada, Manager, Office of the Census, Santa Clara County
  • Anne Im, Immigration Program Officer, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Kelly Batson, Senior Vice President, Community Impact, United Way Bay Area
  • Discussant: Karthick Ramakrishnan, Director, Center for Social Innovation

The panel discussion focused on the following subjects:

Why does the Census Matter?


  • $ 675 distributed annually
  • California’s share $ 76 billions
  • Funding is distributed based on Census

Political Power:

  • Congressional representation
  • Reapportionment and redistricting
  • 1990 undercounted cost a California Congressional seat

What are some of the barriers to an accurate count?

  • Citizenship question may be intimidating
  • Language barrier
  • Multiple families live under one roof
  • Not enough ethnic volunteers, community outreach persons, paid staff
  • Undocumented status
  • Distrust of immigration enforcement
  • Cultural barriers
  • The census will be taken online which could be a barrier to participants who are less computer literate.

What actions are being taken?

  • Santa Clara County established the Office of Census with a website to inform and to make sure that our communities are not undercounted.
  • United Way is hiring staff and giving grants to ensure the 2020 census is taken correctly.
  • SVCF (Silicon Valley Community Foundation) is engaging in advocacy and grant-making to Bay Area nonprofits as part of the Bay Area Census Funders Collaborative.
  • All the participating organization has websites where you can find more information.
  • AAPI Data has many sources of census information as it relates to Asian Americans on their website.
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