March 18, 2010 | Earth Times | Original Article

Summit Stresses Census 2010 Participation

WASHINGTON - (Business Wire) Elected officials, community leaders, and Latino organizations today met at the U.S. Capitol to stress the importance of participating in the 2010 Census, and the policy implications of being left uncounted. The Latino 2010 Census summit was held as 120 million U.S. households nationwide receive the Census form this week.

“There are billions of federal dollars at stake here. Healthcare, education, transportation, you name it, all look at population figures when they figure out how to distribute funds. So if we don’t get counted, we are not considered,” said Sen. Robert Menéndez (N.J.). “It’s not just the federal government. The private sector looks at population figures when they make decisions on where to invest in the community.”

Congressional leaders added the fast-growing Latino community has a major stake in the 2010 Census.

“We are ready to make sure that we get a count that really reflects the demographics of our community. The last Census missed many members of the community. We can’t afford that. The Census is the future of our community,” said Rep. Nydia Velázquez (N.Y.), chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

“It is imperative for the sake of our community that we all work together to make sure that 47 million Latinos get counted. We’ve got to stand up and speak out. We are calling on everyone to be counted.”

Panelists also sought to assuage fears that the information compiled by the Census can be used for other purposes, including law enforcement or immigration status verification.

“There is absolutely no law that supersedes the Census,” said Thomas Pérez, U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. “It is completely private. There is nothing to fear.”

Members of Latino groups stressed the summit represents a historic unity toward a common goal.

“What we have here is an unprecedented coordination and show of unity by the leadership of the Latino community to ensure one thing and one thing only. That every single Latino is counted in the Census,” said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund. “This is a call to action for the community to stand up and be counted.”

For more information on the Census campaign, please visit

About the ya es hora Campaign

The ya es hora campaign is the largest and most comprehensive non-partisan effort to incorporate Latinos as full participants in the American political process. The campaign has dramatically increased naturalization rates and spurred record Latino turnout in the 2008 presidential election.

NALEO Educational Fund
Patricia Guadalupe, 202-546-2536
Cell: 202-509-6316