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Lewis to explain the importance of 2020 Census at chamber dinner

By Staff | Feb 6, 2020

KAHULUI – Kuhio Lewis, CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), will be the featured speaker at the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce’s bimonthly dinner meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 12, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Maui Tropical Plantation’s Tram Station in Waikapu.

Registration is $25 for chamber members ($30 for non-members) and includes a full Hawaiian food dinner. Register at www.mnhcoc.org before Feb. 9. This event is open to the public.

The census is the most inclusive civic activity in the United States, seeking to count every person in every household. Census data is important on both the national and local levels.

Data derived from the census determines the allocation of Congressional seats, draws State House and Senate district lines, targets more than $800 billion of federal spending and assists in commercial and community planning efforts.

Lewis will discuss the challenge of getting a complete census count for the State of Hawaii. Historically, census data mapping identifies certain locations as “hard-to-count.”

Lewis will explain why Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are sometimes difficult to count and possible solutions. The census disproportionately undercounts specific groups, including Native Hawaiians, which can lead to underfunded programs.

“The data derived from the census plays a critical role in funding decisions for programs and services vital to Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders,” explained Lewis.

“In fact, the entire community has a vested interest in a full and accurate census count because of the impact this information has on Maui County and the entire State of Hawaii. This Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce event is a timely one, and I encourage the residents of Maui to attend.”

“The impact of census data touches all aspects of life in our community,” said Frank De Rego Jr., chamber president. “Folks who want to understand the census and its impacts, especially how it affects Native Hawaiians, should attend.”

No-host cocktails and networking will begin at 5:30 p.m. RSVP and pay in advance at www.mnhcoc.org, or to pay by phone, call (808) 281-6438.

The deadline to register is Sunday, Feb. 9. Venue capacity is limited, so reserve your seat early.