- “I urge all Latinos to make themselves counted in the 2020 Census,” said Miami-Dade County School Board Member Lubby Navarro.
Completing the census is critically important because funding for over 170 federal programs depend on census data. These federal programs provide important services to our local communities. If we have an undercount, communities will be directly impacted and lose funding for an entire decade.
Last year, Miami-Dade County School Board member Lubby Navarro was appointed to serve as co-chair of the National Latino Commission on the 2020 Census. The panel was established by the non-profit NALEO Educational Fund, which advocates for Latino participation in American civic and political life. She was also elected to serve as the vice-chair of the Miami-Dade County Task Force on Census 2020.
Over the past few months, the commission held several hearings around the country, including in Los Angeles (CA), New York (NY), San Antonio (TX), Columbus (OH), and Orlando (Fl) to hear testimony from hard-to-count communities. As a result of these meetings, the commission is scheduled to release its report in Washington, D.C., on May 22nd.
According to Navarro, the commission has worked hard throughout the United States to receive testimony from hard-to-count communities that will be directly affected by the untested citizenship question that has been added to the 2020 Census. This question has not been part of any Census since 1950. “We are very hopeful that the Supreme Court will deliberate after hearing oral arguments and decide to remove the citizenship question from the 2020 Census,” said Navarro.
Many immigrants are fearful about completing the census now that the citizenship question has been added as they do not know how this information will be used. “Also, there is an innate fear of governmental institutions within our communities, as many people who call South Florida home are immigrants from Central and South America and the Caribbean, where they faced oppression and the violation of their human rights at the hands of their governments,” Navarro said.
However, Navarro stresses the importance of full participation by everyone in every household in our community. “I encourage all Latinos to participate in the census, regardless of their immigration status, since according to federal law, this information cannot be disclosed in 72 years to any government official, agency, or the public.”
Additionally, completing the census is critically important because over 170 federal programs depend on census data. “The federal government allocates funding depending on the census count for programs such as education, housing, social services, and transportation, among others,” she added.
Results will not only determine representation in Congress but also guide the distribution of more than $800 billion in federal funding, which is directly allocated to local communities. “Ensuring an accurate count of our population is my top priority. It is about our future as a fast-growing community that faces many challenges and has many needs,” Navarro said.
If there is an undercount, communities and local governments will directly suffer the consequences of not having appropriate levels of federal funding for an entire decade. Therefore, Navarro is encouraging local government officials to begin now in engaging their constituents by forming census-complete-count committees to create awareness about the importance of all that is at stake if every single person is not counted on Census Day — April 1, 2020.
Haz clic para leer en Español: Latinos, háganse contar en el Censo 2020