U.S. Rep Haaland and Local Organizations Encourage Census Participation

September 21, 2020
Press Release
Last Push to Get out the Count in the 2020 Census

Albuquerque, NM - On Monday, September 21st U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland joined forced with the Native American Community Academy, El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos, New Mexico Dream Team, the New Mexico Asian Family Center, NAACP, as well as other local grassroot organizations and hosted a virtual press conference along with a phone-banking effort to make one last push to increase the census 2020 self-response rate in Albuquerque and across New Mexico prior to the current September 30th deadline. 

Congresswoman Deb Haaland attended the virtual press conference and made a call to action to ensure the participation of everyone in the state in the decennial census to secure fair political representation, federal funding for government services and infrastructure as well as provide accurate data by which to determine  redistricting in New Mexico.

“The Census is critical to ensuring all communities across New Mexico have the resources they need for schools, hospitals, roads, and programs families rely on, but right now the pandemic has made it more difficult to reach hard-to-count communities,”said U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland NM-01. “That’s why I joined grassroots organizations to reach households across our state and remind them to fill out their 2020 Census forms at my2020census.gov.”

New Mexico is home to many populations that are often under-counted, including: Hispanics, Native Americans,immigrants, and people living in poverty, in rural areas, or without internet access. In the 2010 Census, New Mexico ranked 49th for self-response rate. Due to the current global pandemic new unprecedented challenges to get an accurate count were created. As New Mexico deals with COVID-19 public health crisis, local organizations that represent Immigrant, refugee, asylee, and communities of color, as well as Congresswoman Haaland, continue to carry out outreach efforts by working collaboratively to engage hard-to-count communities and ensure their participation in the 2020 census. An undercount of just 1% in the census in New Mexico could result in a loss of more than $780 million over the next decade.

Currently enumerators are still going door to door visiting residents that haven’t yet filled out the census. Organizers of the digital press conference and virtual phone-bank reminded Albuquerque- residents that everyone regardless of their age, or immigration status counts and that their census data cannot be disclosed to any other federal agency. With just ten days to participate, New Mexicans can still make themselves count by phone at 844-468-2020, online at 2020census.gov or by mail.

Below are quotes from participating organizations: 

“Immigrant, communities of color and low-income communities in our state have been hit the hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic. This crisis has shown the need of our participation to make sure we have the programs, health-care systems and other vital services that our community needs for the next decade. We all need to make ourselves count to provide a better future for both our families and everyone in our community.” - Martha Montano, member of El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos 

“NACA supports every initiative that secures the deserved representation of our entire community. It is important that everyone is counted to ensure our communities throughout New Mexico receive federal funding and resources that will continue to support the infrastructure, wellbeing and advancement of our communities.” - Tirzah Toya-Waconda, Office Manager/Language Facilitator, Native American Community Academy

“An accurate count is critical to ensure funding for education, healthcare, and infrastructure –for the next decade– find its way to our communities across New Mexico. This is our once-every-ten-years opportunity to create the right foundation for our present and future generations which is why we can’t stop working until every New Mexican is counted in the 2020 census” - Elizabeth Cuna, Census Coordinator, Center for Civic Policy

“In order to receive the appropriate federal funding for essential services over the next 10 years, New Mexico must have an accurate Census count. Last Census, New Mexico placed 49th nationwide in self-response rate. We cannot make the same mistake again. We have less than a month left to get this right. Our next generations will need every resource possible to continue the advancement and wellbeing of our communities.” -Uriel Rosales, Field Organizer, NM Dream Team

“There are many diverse communities in New Mexico with different needs. Census funding helps address the needs of these communities and lift the well-being of its residents.  Getting counted in the Census helps ensure that a variety of resources will be provided to every community in the state from healthcare to schools to housing. Let’s not miss this opportunity for additional financial resources for our state.”- Pamelya Herndon, Census Project Coordinator, NAACP, Albuquerque Branch

“The 2020 Census will be ending on September 30. Let’s support our families, friends, neighbors, and communities throughout our state to complete census online or over the phone. We need an accurate and complete count now for all New Mexicans to have our fair share of resources, representation, and voice for the next 10 years.”- Huong Nguyen, Community Engagement Director, New Mexico Asian Family Center