Elected Officials Stress Importance of 2020 Census

Los Angeles – The Leadership Conference Fund recently launched “Census Champions,” a coalition of elected and appointed government officials to promote a fair and accurate count for the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census.

Los Angeles – The Leadership Conference Fund recently launched “Census Champions,” a coalition of elected and appointed government officials to promote a fair and accurate count for the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census. This network numbers approximately 175 individuals including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. At a press briefing held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club, Garcetti spoke along with several members of the coalition.

“This is not just a city of diversity or inclusion. We are a city of belonging in a country that should [also] stand for belonging. The best way to belong is to be seen, to be heard, and to be counted,” said Garcetti, who also serves on the board of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).

“There are people who want to erase us,” Garcetti continued. “There are people who want us not to be counted. There are people who want to see us lose a congressional seat. Have less of the tax dollars that we generate come home to us. But here in L.A. we won’t let that stand. And across the country we are saying in those hard to count communities, whether it is folks that are Americans that are living with the scourge of homelessness, whether it’s immigrant communities, or others, we will always let people know, number one, you are safe and we will defend you, two, you need and deserve to be counted.”

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (53rd District) speaks about AB 1563 as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and participants at a Census Champions press briefing listen.

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (53rd District) speaks about AB 1563 as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and participants at a Census Champions press briefing listen. PHOTO: Robert Wheaton

California State Assemblymember Miguel Santiago spoke about AB 1563 (California Census Bill of Rights), which he co-sponsored. Santiago represents the 53rd Assembly District, which includes parts of Downtown Los Angeles and East Los Angeles. The bill, which recently passed both houses of the California legislature, would make it a misdemeanor for any person to “falsely represent themselves as a census taker or to falsely assume some or all of the activities of a census taker with the intent to interfere with the operation of the census…”

“We’re not only investing the dollars for people to be counted,” Santiago emphasized, “but we’re creating the laws to protect people when they are counted.”

The bill currently awaits the signature of Governor Gavin Newsom and would go into effect in February.

Also participating in the press briefing was Lizette Escobedo, Director of National Census Program, NALEO Educational Fund. NALEO, along with The Leadership Conference Fund, and the Census Counts Campaign are on the forefront of a national drive to increase participation in the census hard-to-reach communities. As part of their efforts, NALEO leads ¡Hágase Contar! Make Yourself Count!), a national campaign which focuses on regions of the United States with historically under counted Latino communities.

LIzette Escobedo of the NALEO Educational Fund speaks at the Los Angeles Athletic Club regarding the U.S. Census on Monday, September 23, 2019.

LIzette Escobedo of the NALEO Educational Fund speaks at the Los Angeles Athletic Club regarding the U.S. Census on Monday, September 23, 2019. PHOTO: Robert Wheaton

“Our organization is thrilled to see our elected and appointed leaders take the call to public service with such commitment and dedication,” Escobedo remarked. “They like NALEO Educational Fund, Leadership Conference, State Voices, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and many, many, other local, state, and national partners, understand what the census means for our communities. We all realize that it will take all of us working together to reach every single individual in every single hard to count population.”

For more information about the U.S. Census you may visit:

The official date of the decennial census is Wednesday, April 1st, 2020.

Leave a Reply