The push is on to get everyone to be counted during the 2020 Census, especially people of color who are historically undercounted.
The Latino Community Foundation used Cinco de Mayo to make sure everyone in their community is counted, reaching out to encourage people to their part and fill out the census and help others fill out their forms.
“Whether it’s the newborn baby in your house or your abuela, everybody counts in this census,” said Christian Arana, policy director at the LCF. “Latinos are already 15 million-plus in the state of California, so we need Latinos to get counted so that everyone gets counted and we all get our fair share of dollars.”
The campaign is using the slogan, “To Exist, We Must Resist.”
Arana says the census determines our representation in Congress, as well as resources for programs that everyone benefits from such as roads, schools and hospitals.
The Census Bureau paused field operations in March because of concerns about the coronavirus. The latest interruption to the census has heightened worries that minority groups will be undercounted.
17-year-old Mikaela is a high school senior who canvasses with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles, and explains how she encourages people to fill out the census.
“Lets say that you do a headcount and you say, ‘raise a hand if you want to eat’ and only 10 people raise their hands so you bring 10 sandwiches, but there’s 20 people in the room. Well, now not everybody gets to eat, you’re not bringing enough to the table. Really the simplest explanation is, if we get undercounted we don’t have enough resources for everybody in the state. That’s why every single person counts.”
The LCF says now more than ever, Latinos are facing unprecedented challenges so it is crucial to unite and protect the constitutional right to stand up and be counted.