Latino Community Fund of Washington State (LCF) is joining other organizations, in filing a suit challenging the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census and arguing it violates the U.S. Constitution. "Our hope is that this lawsuit will ensure that the constitutional mandate for an accurate Census count is preserved for future generations," Peter Bloch Garcia, Latino Community Fund Executive Director
Latino Community Fund of Washington State (LCF) is joining Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) and the Law Office of Robert P. Newman, in filing a suit challenging the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census and arguing it violates the U.S. Constitution.
Among the 23 plaintiffs are Latino- and Asian-American social service non-profits, state legislative associations, civil rights groups, voters’ rights organizations, and community partnerships that would be forced to divert resources to combat a severe undercount in their respective communities. The people they serve will also lose access to federal funding and lose representation in Congress, as well as state and local government, according to the lawsuit.
The Census Bureau eliminated a question on citizenship from the decennial form after the 1950 Census and it has only appeared since then in questionnaires sent to a sample of the population. Late last year, however, the U.S. Department of Justice abruptly requested the addition of a citizenship question to the Census, arguing it was necessary to help enforce the federal Voting Rights Act despite no evidence that the data is necessary.
Census data is crucial to allocating seats in Congress, drawing accurate election districts and ensuring equitable distribution of federal funds for a wide range of vital programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Section 8 housing vouchers and special education grants.
“Our community has been here before and we are not going back. This tactic is intended to severely undercount Latinos, Asian Americans, immigrants and other populations. It will dilute political representation and federal funding to these communities - this is a violation of the Fifth Amendment. An accurate Census count is the cornerstone of government that is truly by and for the people.
Therefore, this lawsuit is critical to repeal the intentional plans to undercount people of color and protect our democracy,” said Peter Bloch Garcia, Executive Director of Latino Community Fund of WA State. “Our hope is that this lawsuit will ensure that the constitutional mandate for an accurate Census count is preserved for future generations.”
About Latino Community Fund of Washington State
For more than ten years, LCF has been cultivating new leaders, supporting cultural and community based non-profit organizations, and improving the quality of life for all Washingtonians. This year, LCF has been leading legislative advocacy with community and youth leaders in King County to amend the King County Federal legislative agenda to remove the citizenship question, advocating for funding allocation to center and support community-let organizations/groups to build capacity to be ready for the 2020 Census.
For more information on LCF please visit: https://www.latinocommunityfund.org
Contact: Mafe Cobaleda The Vida Agency
(206) 582 5106 / mafe(at)thevidaagency(dot)com