MALDEF

MALDEF Convenes Texas Latino Complete Count Committee to Counteract Texas Governor’s Failure to Support U.S. Census

Census 2010: Texas
January 29, 2010 - MALDEF’s Southwest Regional Office is leading the charge to ensure that all Latinos in Texas are counted in the 2010 Census by chairing the newly-created Texas Latino Complete Count Committee. An accurate count, especially among hard-to-count Latinos such as immigrants, students, and the economically disadvantaged, is essential to ensuring that all communities receive their fair share of federal resources and political representation. The U.S. Census is the one time when everyone in the nation has an equal voice, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, income, education, or immigration status.

MALDEF needs your participation to promote Census 2010 in your community. To learn more and download materials visit MALDEF.org/Census2010.

Most governors and states have recognized the importance of this once-in-a-decade opportunity to ensure that their constituents are counted. As a result, the U.S. Census Bureau reports at least 36 states have formed statewide complete count committees to help with the Census. Sadly, Texas Governor Rick Perry has neither endorsed the U.S. Census, nor convened a Texas Complete Count Committee to create a plan for counting every Texan despite requests by legislators, the Census Bureau, and advocacy organizations including MALDEF.

It is imperative that Texas have a statewide strategy for an accurate and complete count. Texas has the second highest hard-to-count areas in the country. The populations in these areas include children and residents who are low-income, lack a high school diploma, are limited English proficient, live in multi-family homes, receive public assistance, and/or are highly mobile. The 2000 Census left an estimated 373,567 people in Texas uncounted. As a result, Texas missed out on approximately $2,913 in federal funds per person – a total loss of over $1 billion over the last decade. This decade, due to population growth, Texas is expected to gain three or four congressional seats in the next apportionment. The difference of one Congressional seat for Texas affects our ability to represent our interests at a national level. In addition, with an accurate Census count, Texas will gain a greater share of the over $400 billion distributed annually to communities across the country for programs such as school construction, early childhood programs, services to the elderly, job training programs and roads. These are funds that Texas desperately needs to ensure its economic stability.

MALDEF refuses to stand on the sidelines while the Governor plays politics with the Census. Through collaboration with grassroots and grasstop leaders, and formation of the Texas Latino Complete Count Committee we can reach into the hardest to count communities to inform, motivate and mobilize Latinos.

Our partners in the Texas Latino Complete Count Committee include: LULAC, SVREP, WCVI, TACHE, MATT, AFL-CIO, HACU, IDRA, Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, Texas Media Empowerment Project, Southwest Workers Union, the Rio Grande Guardian, TABE, and the University Leadership Initiative. MALDEF thanks its partners for stepping forward to take ownership of our collective future and encourages others to carry the message forward. Together we can have a successful 2010 Census and ensure that our voice is heard and that our people our counted.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund