MALDEF Southwest Regional Office

Approach to Census 2010 Complete Count -
Challenges and Opportunities

MALDEF is committed to making Census 2010 a successful count of Latinos in the United States and to enhance our sense of civic pride among our communities as we participate in the Census 2010.

Our approach for an effective 2010 Census campaign is to target the “hard-to-count” (HTC) areas of our region.¹ and based on a three-pronged strategy targeting designated “hard-to-count” counties, by:

  1. Accessing and partnering with grassroots entities (non-profit groups, community businesses, and faith-based organizations) that have the direct contact with hard-to-count populations;
  2. Partnering with grass top leaders to promote the 2010 Census and educate the community at the state and local levels; and
  3. Broadcasting bilingual promotional information (English and Spanish) via the radio and television and at large events.

We know that our biggest return on our efforts will be through collaborating with trusted groups and agencies that provide direct services to and have regular contact with hard-to-count families and individuals.


The MALDEF Southwest Region is vast and multi-faceted. The Southwest Region has some of the most populated urban areas in the U.S while also containing some of the most rural areas. In Texas, New Mexico and Colorado the Latino population has a long history and its presence was long integrated into the local culture.

Some facts about the region:

Education: According the Texas State Data Center, Texas ranks second in the nation in the number of elementary and secondary school students with over 4.6 million enrolled in its public schools.

Health: Texas ranks number one in the nation in the percent of people under 65 without health insurance, New Mexico 2nd, Louisiana 3rd (Baylor University Study).

Poverty: Five of our states have a higher percent of families below the poverty line than the national average. Two of the poorest regions in the US lie within the MALDEF Southwest Region. The Lower Mississippi Delta and the Texas Borderland are considered to be especially challenging because of their various HTC characteristics.

Source: American Fact Finder,

Housing: In New Mexico and Texas, a significant population lives in unincorporated communities called colonias, often lacking basic infrastructure and services such as potable water, paved roads, and sewer systems. With over 1,400 colonias (mainly along the U.S. –Mexico Border) Texas has the most colonias in the nation and the highest population of colonia residents.

Because You Count, Get Counted!
!Cuéntate…Porque Tú Vales!

In March you will receive the Census 2010 questionnaire at your home. Forms will be available in English and in over 50 languages. They are easy to fill out and must be mailed back by April 1, 2010 (Census Day). Take this chance to make a difference for your family and your community!

  • January & Febuary: Census campaign in full gear. Information on TV, Radio, and community events
  • March: Census forms are mailed or delivered to homes.
  • APRIL 1: Census Day!
  • May, June & July: Census workers visit homes that did not mail in questionnaires.

Click here to download the Southwest Census Palm Card

For more information or to find out how MALDEF and your organization can partner to count Latinos in your community, contact:

Anna Alicia Romero
110 Broadway, Suite 300
San Antonio, TX  78205
Tel.: 210-224-5476
Fax:  210-224-5382

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund