Sunday, March 7, 2010

Faleomavaega Embarrassed on Census

This is the year once every decade the U.S. counts all of its people. Historically, minorities have been undercounted, a lot of times because they come from countries where government is oppressive and they want to keep their heads ducked. But in the U.S., the statistics gained from the census, help determine the share of federal resources each state gets in program money, including programs that are aimed at helping minorities.

So minority organizations are working hard to make sure their constituencies are aware of the census and to make sure everyone is counted when the census taker comes knocking at the door. Some of the west coast group enlisted Faleomavaega to speak at their Census kick-off events last week in northern and southern California.

Faleomavaega likes to tell groups they need to be more visible. He would do well to take his own advice. As we have said so many times in the past, he travels so much that he is not really very well known in Washington and is not very influential. In fact he has done so little to get American Samoa noticed that if go to the internet and click on the Census Bureau’s website,, and click on the menu of states on the right, you will find the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, but not American Samoa.

Also try entering American Samoa’s zip code, 96799. The site does not recognize it as a valid zip code. Fortunately, the Postal Service does although considering the lack of speed of service, sometimes that is debatable as well.

Fortunately for Faleomavaega, there was no Q&A session for someone to ask him why his own territory is forgotten. What an embarrassment. Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog knows the answer. This is just yet more proof.

If you are reading this blog later than March 8, 2010, then you know that even if Faleomavaega gets no attention in Washington, someone reading this blog has reported the omission to Census and they have addressed the matter. If so, we will take credit.

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