Civil Rights Groups: 2020 Census Must be Fair and Accurate

Census News 03.28,19

LaGloria Wheatfall, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, [email protected], 202.548.7160
Amanda Bosquez, NALEO Educational Fund, [email protected], 202.546.2536
Michelle Boykins, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, [email protected], 202.296.2300 x 0144
July Emery, Virginia Civic Engagement Table, [email protected], 540.270.2742
Mercy Albaran, Color Of Change, [email protected], 510.816.0486

WASHINGTON – Civil rights leaders and census experts held a press call today to announce a national day of action on April 1 to elevate the importance of a fair and accurate 2020 Census. That day marks one year from Census Day, when the census will be in full swing. The U.S. Constitution requires a census every ten years to ensure equal representation for all communities. Census data also influence the allocation of more than $800 billion in federal resources. It is imperative that the government counts every person in our country equally well.

Audio of the press call can be found here.

“The Day of Action is an important opportunity to raise awareness about the upcoming count and educate communities about how census data impact our daily lives and our voice in democracy,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference Education Fund. “While the census may have political consequences, its conduct must be strictly nonpartisan and non-political. This count is the bedrock of representative democracy.”

“Given the importance of Census 2020 in distributing billions of dollars in federal funding and the allocation of political power to communities across the country for the next 10 years, we cannot afford to have millions of Latinos and other Americans missed in the nation’s decennial count,” said Lizette Escobedo, NALEO Educational Fund Director of National Census Program. “A number of changes and challenges pose a real threat to a full count of Latinos in Census 2020, including the addition of the citizenship question during a time of increased fear and mistrust in the government.  We know we have our work cut out for us in the coming months, and that’s why we are joining forces with our ¡Hágase Contar! Campaign partners to educate Latinos across the nation about the importance of making themselves count in Census 2020.”

“The 2020 Census is our only chance in a decade to get a full and accurate count of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities,” said Terry Ao Minnis, director of census and voting programs at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. “Without an accurate count, valuable dollars that support immigrant and minority communities will be lost and they will not be represented accurately or served in the way they are Constitutionally entitled.”

“To reduce the risk of an undercount in Black communities we need to make sure our folks know what the census is really about: claiming our legacy, getting our fair share and mobilizing for economic justice for Black people in America,” said Jennifer Edwards, senior campaign director of the digital and democracy program at Color of Change. “Color Of Change is launching a targeted online campaign to ensure that all Black people are counted in the 2020 Census.”

“On April 1 the Virginia Civic Engagement Table, Progress Virginia and other coalition partners will be focused on asking Virginians to call their Delegates and Senators in Virginia’s General Assembly and ask them to support the Governor’s request for $1.5 million in funding to make sure every Virginian is counted,” said Julie Emery, executive director of the Virginia Civic Engagement State Table. “That $1.5 million investment can bring $174 billion back to Virginia in funding that flows from the census. Legislators have the chance to do the right thing for Virginia when they reconvene for the veto session on April 3.”

“Our communities are in the streets, and on the news, and even in the polling booth, but if they are not included in the 2020 Census, they will find the things that we need are still missing. So on April 1, 2020 were asking our communities to get involved. The Census counts. So do you,” said Beth Lynk, Census Count Campaign Director. “If your community isn’t fully counted in the 2020 Census, you will miss out on political representation, on money for your children’s classrooms, on jobs and health care centers for the next 10 years.”

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The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund’s campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States. It was founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. For more information on The Education Fund, visit

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

Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation’s members are: Advancing Justice – AAJC (Washington, D.C.), Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Advancing Justice – Atlanta, and Advancing Justice – Chicago.

Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over 1.5 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Visit

The Virginia Civic Engagement Table is a coalition of nonprofits in Virginia focused on making sure that every voice is heard in Virginia’s democracy. We connect and strengthen our nonprofit partners and activists in the progressive community.   

Census Counts is a collaborative campaign involving more than 15 national organizations and dozens of community partners working together to make sure that the 2020 Census is fair and accurate—so that our communities do not miss out on the political power they deserve and the resources their communities have earned. More information about the Census Counts campaign and an update of day of action activities is available at