Civil Rights Advocates Highlight the Importance of All Communities Getting Counted in 2020 Census

Census News 06.14.19

Contact: LaGloria Wheatfall, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, [email protected], 202.548.7160
Michelle Boykins, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, [email protected], 202.296.2300 x 0144
Amanda Bosquez, NALEO Educational Fund, [email protected], 202.546.2536
Jeri Green, National Urban League, [email protected], 202.580.5016
Su Patel, New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), [email protected], 917.940.6402
Jasmine Nazarett, Community Change and the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), [email protected], 954.471.9080

WASHINGTON –The Leadership Conference Education Fund, together with Ethnic Media Services, hosted a telephone press briefing today featuring National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, National Urban League, New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), and Community Change and the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), to discuss the importance of the 2020 Census to communities of color and the need to ensure everyone gets counted.

A recording of today’s call can be found here.

Census advocates from diverse communities discussed the pending Supreme Court decision in the citizenship question case and why it is vital that communities of color participate in the 2020 Census.

“We can’t allow the decennial census to become weaponized and politicized by the Trump administration. Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision on whether to include the citizenship question on the 2020 Census, our coalition will continue to work to ensure that all communities get counted,” said, Beth Lynk, Census Counts campaign director at The Leadership Conference Education Fund. “If there is an undercount, vital public services, schools, hospitals, and highways will not be properly funded and communities that already face systemic barriers to success will suffer.”

“We know now the full extent of the corruption and deceit that has been employed to undermine our democracy, with recently released evidence showing that political actors have sought to manipulate the 2020 Census for partisan purposes,” said, Arturo Vargas, chief executive officer of NALEO Educational Fund.  “We will not idly stand by as others attempt to undermine the progress of the Latino community and suppress the count of the nation’s second largest population group.  We will continue to fight for a just Census 2020 and a full and accurate count of Latinos and immigrants regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision.”

“A fair and accurate count in the 2020 Census is critical to the well-being of Asian American and immigrant communities, and former U.S. Census Bureau directors have warned that even small changes to the census could have significant and often unexpected consequences,” said John C. Yang, president and executive director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC.  “The addition of a citizenship question is a direct attack to communities of color and immigrants, and its untested nature will have harmful effects. Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision, we will keep fighting to ensure our communities get the representation and resources they deserve.”

“The 2020 Census is shaping up to be the most important census to the Black population in modern census history,” said Jeri Green, 2020 census senior advisor at National Urban League. Money, power, political representation and civil rights are all at stake, as never before.  Our communities will not be marginalized or erased from the 2020 Census, due to political meddling, apathy or fear.  The National Urban League is calling upon every African American household, family member, and person of color to stand up and be counted in the 2020 Census.”

Steve Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition a plaintiff in the case, said, “The true motive for the citizenship question is to fuel the Trump administration’s white supremacist agenda of starving big blue immigrant-rich states like NY of federal resources and political representation. The integrity of our democracy lies in the hands of the Supreme Court—and all the evidence necessitates that they uphold the ruling on our case against the addition of the citizenship question. However, regardless of the outcome, NY will rise to the challenge and ensure our immigrant neighbors and other marginalized groups are not rendered invisible. We will be counted in Census 2020 to preserve our political power and access to billions of dollars in federal funding.”

“The communities we represent make up the most powerful voting bloc in this country,” said Sulma Arias, immigration field director at Community Change and the Fair Immigration Reform Movement. “There’s too much at stake to sit out the 2020 Census. Despite the administration’s attempt to erase our voices, we will continue fighting to make our voices heard and be counted because we know we can change the political landscape and the future of our country.”


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 | AAJC has a mission to advance the civil and human rights for Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all. 

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 and follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague.

The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for more than 200 groups in New York State. We envision a New York state that is stronger because all people are welcome, treated fairly, and given the chance to pursue their dreams. Our mission is to unite immigrants, members, & allies so all New Yorkers can thrive. We represent the collective interests of New York’s diverse immigrant communities and organizations and devise solutions to advance them; advocate for laws, policies, and programs that lead to justice and opportunity for all immigrant groups; and build the power of immigrants and the organizations that serve them to ensure their sustainability, to improve people’s lives, and to strengthen our state.

Community Change is a national social justice organization that builds the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change the policies and institutions that impact their lives.

 The Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) is the nation’s largest immigrant-rights coalition, with grassroots organizations fighting for immigrant rights at the local, state and federal level. For more information, go to or follow us on Twitter @Re4mImmigration.