SAMOANS SUAFA'I AND GALEA'I FOCUS ON A COMPLETE COUNT IN U.S. "CENSUS2000"

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CONGRESSMAN ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA Delegate from American Samoa U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE July 2, 1999

SAMOANS SUAFA‘I AND GALEA‘I FOCUS ON A COMPLETE COUNT IN U.S. "CENSUS 2000"

Congressman Faleomavaega today announced that two Samoans, Ms. Salafai (Susie) Suafa'i and Dr. Kenneth (Ken) Galea'i, now serve on the Census 2000 U.S. Department of Commerce Census Bureau Advisory Committee.

Dr. Galea'i joins Ms. Suafa'i, who has been on the committee for the past three years, in providing advice to the Census Bureau in planning the biggest census ever in the history of the United States -- Census 2000.

"I am very pleased that Ms. Suafa'i and Dr. Galea'i are on this important committee," Faleomavaega said. "It is so important to have a complete and accurate count of our Samoan population in the next census and I have complete faith in Susie and Ken to provide the Census Bureau with the necessary expert advice on the condition of the Samoan population to make that happen."

Besides the apportioning of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives, the federal government uses the population counts after each census to allocate and distribute billions of tax dollars to states and local governments.

State and local governments also use these counts as well as other statistical reports produced by the Census Bureau to distribute state and local funds and plan many community services and programs.

The federal government will use the American Samoa Census 2000 count as the basis to allocate funds over the next 10 years for many federal programs, such as in education, job development and law enforcement to name a few.

"I have always questioned the accuracy of the last census with regards to our population in American Samoa as well as the Samoan population in the United States," Faleomavaega said. "I hope that with the help of Galea'i and Suafa'i, the Census Bureau will have a better promotion and outreach plan that will be sensitive and get the message out to our population on the importance of being counted in the Census 2000," concluded Faleomavaega.

Ms. Suafa'i is a Senior Program Specialist at the National Economic Development and Law Center in Oakland, California. She is the daughter of Letalatala and Su'e Suafa'i of Fagatogo.

Dr. Galea'i is Co-Director of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center of the Pacific at the San Diego State University, San Diego, California. He is the son of Willie Lealogatele Galea'i and Taua Margaret McMullin from the village of Leone.

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