With Census Redistricting Data Indicating Growing Diversity, Policymakers Must Ensure Democracy for All

Rafael Medina, The Leadership Conference, [email protected], 202.869.0390
Marcus Silva, NALEO Educational Fund, [email protected], 510.456.5444
Teresa Candori, National Urban League, [email protected]
Michelle Boykins, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, [email protected], 202.296.2300 x 0144
Lycia Maddocks, National Congress of American Indians, [email protected], 202.466.7767

WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights issued the following statements from civil rights leaders and census experts regarding the U.S. Census Bureau’s release of data that states and localities will use to redraw electoral district boundaries. The leaders call on government officials to ensure the data, which indicate the nation is growing more diverse, is accurately used for the fair allocation of political representation to all communities, as mandated by Congress.

“The census is a cornerstone of our democracy — and the resilience of our democracy depends on government officials using these data correctly,” said Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “As a nation, we cannot afford to get this wrong. Officials must take the time needed to appropriately use these data and produce accurate district maps so that our communities are fairly represented in Congress.”

“Census 2020 redistricting data mark a new era of diversity and an excellent sign for the economic, cultural, and civic vitality of the United States,” said NALEO Educational Fund CEO Arturo Vargas. “The Latino community and others expect that policymakers at all levels of government consider the needs of all the people of the United States when crafting policies and legislation — including redrawn legislative maps that will shape the power of representation for the next 10 years.”

“The Asian American population continues to grow extensively and remains incredibly diverse, with over 24 million Asian Americans responding to the most recent census,” said Terry Ao Minnis, senior director of census and voting programs at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. “Redistricting will have a long-term impact on our communities and determine many factors of our daily lives for years to come, such as access to health care and education. As redistricting occurs across the nation, it is critical that these data and our communities are accurately and fairly reflected in the new maps as we build a more inclusive future for all.”

“Historically, state legislators have used the redistricting process to neutralize Black and Brown votes through ‘cracking’ — splitting communities of color among several white-majority districts — and ‘packing’ — concentrating communities of color into a single district to reduce their voting power in other districts,” said National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial. “Instead, lawmakers should take this opportunity to fulfill the American ideal of ‘one person, one vote.’ When we draw fair maps, our communities are represented by leaders who know us, who represent our needs, and fight for the resources that our children and families need in order to thrive.”

“Diversity is strength and NCAI is pleased that the 2020 Census data reflect a more diverse America as we move forward through the redistricting process,” said National Congress of American Indians President Fawn Sharp. “Redistricting is critical to the equitable distribution of resources and voting access for communities throughout a state, and we encourage Tribal Nations and other communities to participate in these efforts to ensure fair representation and access to the resources they need and deserve.”

For a redistricting fact sheet, click here.
For an imputation fact sheet, click here.
For a census data timeline, click here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC has a mission to advance the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all. Visit our website at advancingjustice-aajc.org.

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 90 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit www.nul.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague.

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit www.ncai.org