July 18, 2018
Contact: Christian Arana
Latino Community Foundation Mobilizes Largest Network of California Latino Philanthropists to Demand Citizenship Question be Removed from 2020 U.S. Census
San Francisco, Calif. – Today more than 120 members of the Latino Community Foundation’s Latino Giving Circle Network® demanded the U.S. Dept. of Commerce remove a question regarding citizenship from the 2020 U.S. Census to avoid the staggering undercount of Latinos in California that will otherwise result.
In a joint public comment letter to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, the philanthropists noted the fear and anxiety a citizenship question will cause and warned of the multitude of families who will go into hiding and fail to be counted.
“The 2020 Census has become the most consequential census in our lifetime,” said Jacqueline Martinez Garcel, CEO of the Latino Community Foundation. “Adding this question in this current political climate would impede the basic constitutional mandate of the census— that every person is counted regardless of their citizenship status.
“The citizenship question will undoubtedly lead to an inaccurate count—and unfairly discriminate against immigrant families,” Garcel added. “The Latino Community Foundation will use all of its weight to ensure we do not waste tax payer dollars on an inaccurate and unfair census count and negatively impact California’s funding and political representation.”
Members of the giving circle network, who actively support Latino community-based organizations throughout the state, were quick to sign onto this public comment.
“We will not stand idly by,” said Pedro Arista, member of the LGBTQ Giving Circle. “Over five million Latinos in the state live in hard-to-count communities, due in part to immigration status. A citizenship question will jeopardize the equitable distribution of funds because of an undercount.”
“Getting our Latino families to make themselves present and accounted for in the 2020 Census is paramount, and there is simply no need for the administration to include a question regarding citizenship. It aims to discourage certain residents from participating in the process, therefore nullifying their very existence,” said Andres Connell of the San Francisco Men’s Giving Circle.
Sofia Perel of the Latinos in Tech Giving Circle asked, “How do we ensure the continued success of our country if our marketing campaigns, budget allocations, and policy agendas are based on wrong assumptions? Our tech companies need complete census data to make sound decisions about our customers, services and products. Including the citizenship question to the census will only exacerbate the fear that our immigrant communities feel and lead to an undercount.”
About the Latino Community Foundation
The Latino Community Foundation has the largest network of Latino philanthropists in the country and has invested millions of dollars to improve the livelihood of Latino families. Its mission is to unleash the power of Latinos in California by investing in Latino-led organizations dedicated to the transformation of their communities. It is the only statewide foundation solely focused on investing in Latino youth and families. The Foundation’s innovative programs and partnerships have increased civic engagement and political participation of Latinos, while also elevating their voices and leveraging their power to advance justice and equity.