On April 1, Latino Rebels moderated a virtual town hall focused on questions about the census and what the census means for the Latino community. Titled “Why the #2020Census Matters for Latinos,” the panel was moderated by Latino Rebels founder Julio Ricardo Varela, and featured Jorge Vásquez of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Emely Páez of the Hispanic Federation, and Julio C. Rivera of the NALEO Education Fund.
Some of what was discussed included specifics about the government census and how this data is used to provide resources for local communities, and also some of the aspects that make the 2020 Census different—especially for Latinos. Vásquez pointed out that this census is historic for Latinos, since it is the first time they can pick the word as an ethnic category.
“Businesses depend on [the census], a lot of Latino businesses depend on it,” Vásquez said, adding that while Latinos are the largest ethnic group in the U.S., only 5 percent of elected officials are Latino.
Páez agreed, saying that the census not only determines government funding, “but it also determines political representation.”
Another question that came up was about concerns of being outed as undocumented.
“There are a lot of reasons that Latinos get undercounted… we tend to live in nontraditional households,” Rivera said, “You gotta get counted now because that’s the only way to avoid having someone come to your door.”
Páez added that census information is private and cannot be disclosed to authorities. “Ultimately these resources are going to benefit mixed-status home,” Páez said, “They are protected under the Title XIII law.”
To complete the 2020 Census online right now, go here. (If you don’t have an invite code, go here.) If you need assistance in completing the questionnaire, help in English is available by calling 844-330-2020 and in Spanish at 844-468-2020.