Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Census accuracy campaign targets local Latinos

"The Framers of the Constitution made it clear they wanted 'all inhabitants' of the country counted in the U.S. Census"

The Tennessean recently interviewed Renata Soto of Conexion Americas, Marcela Gomez of Hispanic Marketing Group, and Yuri Cunza of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce about local and national efforts to educate Latinos about the Census.

From the Tennessean:
[Conexion Americas] is developing promotional materials to encourage Latinos in Middle Tennessee to participate in the Census. They include radio ads plus written materials distributed at club meetings and community fairs.

A visit later this month by a mobile Mexican consulate office will be another chance to get out the message that greater participation will bring more money to the region, she said. [Conexion] will assure Latinos that Census officials will not ask about their residency status.
[According to Marcela Gomez, the] Census has a hard-to-miss presence on Spanish-language radio and has made contact with most of the area's major Hispanic organizations.
The Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is encouraging members to complete Census forms and engage other people in conversations about the value of the process.
In the U.S. Census, America counts everyone - citizens, visa holder, or otherwise - because that's the way the U.S. Constitution requires it, and we've never done it any other way. According to census.gov:
We’ve followed this mandate, since the first census in 1790. The Framers of the Constitution made it clear they wanted “all inhabitants” of the country counted in the U.S. Census, and every Presidential Administration since that time that has overseen a Census has interpreted the Constitution and the laws require everyone be counted.
The Drum Major Institute has a good report on counting everyone regardless of immigration status, as well - I particularly liked the section "An All-Inclusive Census Gives Americans the Political Power They Are Entitled to under Law" beginning on page 8.

In Tennessee, 75% of Latinos are either citizens or visa holders, according to 2007 Census figures which reported that nearly half of all Hispanics in Tennessee are native-born citizens of the U.S., and the fact that about half of those Latinos who where not born in the U.S. have either become U.S. citizens by naturalization or have a valid immigration visa.

The Tennessean article says that the latest Census figures for Davidson County put the number of Latinos here at 46,618 (in 2006, the figures for the 13-county Nashville area was 64,600). Soto told the Tennessean that many believe the 2000 Census number of 26,091 to be an undercount.

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