Civil Rights Leaders and California Official Discuss the 2020 Census and Census Data Confidentiality


Contact: Charmaine Riley, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, riley@civilrights,org , 202.548.7166
Jeri Green, National Urban League, [email protected], 202.580.5016
Lycia Maddocks, National Congress of American Indians, [email protected], 202.466. 7767
Diana Crofts-Pelayo, The California Complete Count – Census 2020 Office, [email protected], 916.214.9266
Kevin Perez-Allen, NALEO Educational Fund, [email protected]; 714.499.4481
Michelle Boykins, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, [email protected], 202.296.2300 x 0144


WASHINGTON – Leading civil rights organizations and a California census official held a telephone press briefing today to discuss the 2020 Census, protections around census data confidentiality, and the work being done to encourage participation across the country.

Audio of this call is available here.

Beth Lynk, Census Counts campaign director, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, said: “Everyone has a part to play in the 2020 Census, and it’s your right to participate. Filling out the census brings money to our schools, health care to our families, and political power to our communities. We deserve resources to make our neighborhoods strong – that’s why Census Counts is making sure everyone feels comfortable getting counted in the census.”

“We understand some people are concerned about the confidentiality of their information and they can be assured that no one can lawfully share any personal identifying information from census responses,” stated John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. “More importantly, the Census Bureau and its employees are not allowed to share personal census responses with ANY other government agency, government official, or outside entity for any reason and we stand ready to hold them accountable to the law.”

“We are still dealing with a substantial amount of fear around the census, especially in the Latino Community. In surveys conducted since the Trump Administration failed in their attempt to add a citizenship question to the census, about half of Latinos still thought it would appear on the form. This is a significant concern for us,” stated Lizette Escobedo, director of National Census Program for NALEO Educational Fund. “NALEO Educational Fund is doing our part to ensure Latino communities across the country are equipped with the facts about Census 2020 through our ¡Hágase Contar! (Make Yourself Count!) Campaign and our toll-free bilingual hotline—877-EL-CENSO (877-352-3767). We are working to ensure that every Latino in the country has the information they need to count themselves and their family members.”

The threat of a significant undercount of the Black community in the 2020 Census is greater than ever.  The National Urban League finds this premise completely unacceptable considering the great damage this would inflict on the Black community and our families,” stated Jeri Green, 2020 Census senior advisor, National Urban League. “We have convened a 2020 Census Black Roundtable coalition of national civil rights leaders, Black clergy, Black immigrant advocates, state and local officials to align our mutual resources, messaging and strategies for an accurate Black Count.  Under the Urban League’s broader, 2020 Census Make Black Count campaign, we are fighting collectively to ensure that the Black population loses no ground–political, economic or civil rights as a result of the 2020 census. The stakes are too high. We must Make Black Count in the 2020 Census.”

Lycia Maddocks, vice president of external affairs, National Congress of American Indians, said: “While American Indians and Alaska Natives historically have one of the highest undercount rates of any group, the 2020 Census is our opportunity to empower our communities to be visible. This census is critical to laying the foundation for our people, our nations, and our future.”

“A complete and accurate count of California’s population is essential for our future,” stated Ditas Katague, director, California Complete Count Office 2020 Census. “That’s why California is making an unprecedented investment to reach the hardest-to-count Californians. California is a home for all, and everyone here has a voice.”

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

More information about The Education Fund’s Census Counts campaign is available at

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. ADD WEBSITE INFO

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. ADD WEBSITE INFO

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.

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

Once each decade, the U.S. Census Bureau attempts to count every person in the United States. Californians will begin receiving invitations to participate in the Census starting March 12, 2020. This enumeration will be the first to rely heavily on online responses. California leaders have invested $187.2 million toward a statewide outreach and communication campaign. For more information, please go to