Executive Summary

MALDEF has been a leader in census outreach and advocacy on behalf of the Latino community since 1970. We foster sound public policies, laws and programs to safeguard the civil rights of the nearly 50 million Latinos living in the United States and empower the Latino community to fully participate in our society in all areas. Our community’s full participation in the census is critical as our numbers will determine how more than $400 billion in government spending will be allocated annually to state and local governments for schools, hospitals, businesses and other services. Additionally, an accurate census count is critical for redistricting legislative seats and for reapportionment. An accurate count is the basis for creating districts that provide Latinos with political representation at the local, state and national levels.

As in past decades, MALDEF again rises to meet the challenge of educating and encouraging Latinos to participate in the U.S. Census. This decennial MALDEF plays the lead role in striving to ensure that the hardest to count population amongst Latinos living throughout the United States will be persuaded by powerful and reassuring messaging that guarantees a more accurate count. In the Census 2000, nearly 1.3 million Latinos were estimated to have been undercounted. Our goal is to create strategic messaging through television, radio, print, the internet, and special events partnering with trusted grassroots community organizations and leaders. Our responsibility is to provide information that will end any suspicion or fear you may have about sharing personal information with the government given the current political climate. As a trusted voice, MALDEF appeals to the Latino who lacks the protection of legal status, especially those least likely to participate such as the recent immigrant, the single mother who may be a victim of domestic violence, the monolingual elderly, those living in non-traditional settings and our youth.

The national campaign aims to reach Latinos through the local efforts of MALDEF Regional Census Directors in Los Angeles, San Antonio, Chicago and Washington, DC. In addition to the nearly 100 counties covered by the Regional Census Directors, staff will join us to mobilize community support in the East San Fernando Valley/ Antelope Valley, the Southeast (Raleigh/Atlanta), Las Vegas and Dallas.

MALDEF’s nation-wide goal is to improve coordination, alignment and collaborative advocacy within key Latino stakeholder communities which will result in a well-coordinated level of joint activities that lead to a high questionnaire response. Each MALDEF Regional Census Director has created an extensive database of trusted grassroots community based organizations in the targeted regions. Each organization becomes a MALDEF Census 2010 Partner which will be trained by and use our tool kit to conduct outreach in our shared targeted communities nation-wide. List of MALDEF Census Partners by region.

MALDEF has created a training tool-kit with bilingual fact sheets, speaking points and other educational materials including templates for banners and promotional items. The tool-kit is used for community, business, religious and educational leaders who wish to have a high level training provided by a MALDEF Regional Director. We can provide you with critical information tailored to your community which you can then use to provide a training in your community. Click here to request a MALDEF tool-kit.

MALDEF has participated in numerous community events across the nation to provide outreach and educational materials to raise awareness of the Census 2010 amongst Latinos. We are interested in hearing about your events so that we might attend or provide you with materials for your booth at high-visibility public events in the Latino community. Staff has created banners, blow-ups of the questionnaire in Spanish, a census prize wheel game, informative Spanish/English palm cards and more. Staff may also serve as Master of Ceremonies at these events or address the audience. Contact MALDEF to share info on your events.

MALDEF, in partnership with Comcast will air six English and Spanish Census public service announcements starting in January and also partnering with Telemundo, Univision Television and Radio, Radio Guadalupe, Hoy Newspaper in Chicago and many more national and local media partners.

MALDEF and Voto Latino, a two-time Webby Award winning national organization, have partnered to create, “Be Counted, Represent”, a micro site and dual internet-mobile phone application and game to generate Census participation among Latino youth. Voto Latino will promote this on a regular basis from January to May through its extensive media coalition which includes 60 radio stations, 120 bloggers, 15 television networks as well as its 25,000 youth members. Voto Latino will provide MALDEF with 50,000 I-Tune cards 25 with downloadable songs by top-rated, youth oriented celebrity singers and hip-hop performers from the US, Mexico and Central America. Cards will be shipped to each MALDEF regional office and distributed to youth, who pledge to participate in the census in each targeted region. Contact us for more information.

MALDEF will update the CENSUS 2010 website regularly, adding new information and regional updates, so please visit often and forward this information to your friends, families and networks.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund