Con el censo en peligro, ¿qué se necesitará para ‘enderezar el barco’?

August 31, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

New America Media – El Censo de 2020 no está comenzando bien, con preparaciones decisivas ya demoradas o quedándose por el camino, en gran parte como resultado de la financiación inadecuada del Congreso. Algunas de las organizaciones de derechos civiles más antiguas del país, mientras que temen lo peor, dicen que aún hay tiempo para que el Congreso y la Administración de Trump cambien el rumbo pero la ventana se está “cerrando rápido”, según Vanita Gupta, presidenta ejecutiva de la Conferencia de Liderazgo sobre los Derechos Civiles y Humanos.ORcensus_500x279

“Estamos cada vez más preocupados que la Administración y el Congreso no hayan priorizado apoyo para un censo justo y preciso, y que las decisiones imprudentes en los próximos meses erosionarán aún más la posibilidad [de éxito]”, dijo Gupta en una llamada de prensa nacional para los medios étnicos.

“Realmente hay demasiado en juego para ignorar la creciente amenaza a un censo satisfactorio”, dice. “Ser subestimado en el censo priva a las comunidades ya vulnerables de una representación justa y de recursos públicos y privados … La salud, el bienestar y el poder político de todas las comunidades diversas en América se basan en un recuento justo y preciso”.

Las consecuencias de un censo fallido se propagaría por el país afectando todo desde niveles de financiación para la educación y la salud pública hasta la redistribución de distritos y la aplicación de la Ley de derecho de voto. Los datos del censo se usan para asignar recursos para todo tipo de servicios en el país, desde hospitales hasta transportación.

“Un buen censo es una inversión sensata en todo lo que apreciamos de este país – una democracia representativa, oficiales elegidos y gobernantes que rinden cuentas al pueblo, e inversión comercial e industrial para impulsar el crecimiento económico, el buen empleo, e la innovación”, dice Terri Ann

Lowenthal, antigua directora de plantilla del Subcomité de la Cámara de Censo y Población, y que ahora es consejera del Fondo de Educación de la Conferencia de Liderazgo.

Lowenthal dice que el Censo de 2020 se enfrenta a una “confluencia de factores sin precedentes” lo que equivale a “una tormenta perfecta”. John Thompson, antiguo director de la Oficina del Censo, dimitió en mayo de este año, y la agencia “se encuentra en un vacío de liderazgo en el momento en que se encuentra con decisiones fundamentales” sobre sus métodos y el uso de recursos”, según Gupta.

Además del nombramiento de un “candidato capacitado e imparcial para dirigir la Oficina del Censo”, Gupta dice que la agencia tiene una necesidad urgente de una financiación más adecuada.

Lowenthal dice que la financiación para el Censo de 2020 ha sido hasta ahora “insuficiente, incierta y frecuentemente ha llegado tarde”. Después del Censo de 2010, el Congreso estableció por primera vez un límite a los costos del censo. Se encomendó a la Oficina del Censo no gastar más en el Censo de 2020 de lo que gastó en el Censo de 2010; acto siguiente, dice Lowenthal, el Congreso “privó al censo en los proyectos de ley de financiación anuales durante gran parte de esta década”. Los legisladores después decidieron que el Censo de 2020, en efecto, recibirá menos financiación que el Censo de 2010.

El Congreso no asignó suficientes fondos en 2017, según Lowenthal, y ahora la Administración de Trump ha pedido mucho menos financiación en 2018 de lo que necesita la Oficina del Censo, dice. Tal como están las cosas ahora, habrá menos de la mitad de los encuestadores del censo temporales en el Censo de 2020 de los que hubo en 2010.

“La ventana de oportunidad para enderezar este barco se está cerrando rápidamente”, dice Lowenthal. Pero, dice, “el Congreso puede mostrar liderazgo ajustando hacia arriba los recortes en el presupuesto comenzando en el otoño durante los próximos tres años”

La falta de financiación adecuada ya ha tenido consecuencias reales, dice Arturo Vargas, director ejecutivo del Fondo Educativo de la National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).

La Oficina del Censo no completó un censo de prueba en español que se planeaba para Puerto Rico, y tampoco está probando ni implementando métodos para contar gente con más precisión en zonas remotas y rurales.

La agencia tampoco probará ciertas estrategias para divulgación y mensajería a nivel local para animar a la gente a que llenen sus formularios del censo, dice Vargas.

Las actividades de divulgación han llegado a ser decisivas entre algunas comunidades marginadas. “Sabemos que cada vez más existe un clima de miedo dentro de las comunidades de inmigrantes y hogares de inmigrantes”, dice, debido al ambiente político actual y un repunte en la retórica anti-inmigrante durante la Administración de Trump.

“Hemos visto a familias de inmigrantes elegir no participar en programas en los que tendrían cualquier tipo de contacto con el gobierno, incluyendo programas de salud y programas de almuerzos escolares”, dice Vargas. “Como resultado creemos que será aún más difícil animar a estas poblaciones de inmigrantes a participar” en el censo.

De hecho, son los grupos como “las personas de color, las familias de bajos ingresos, las personas discapacitadas e individuos de dominio limitado del inglés” que serían los más afectados por un censo que carezca de financiación suficiente, según John C. Yang, el director ejecutivo de Asian Americans Advancing Justice. “Cualquier brecha en estudios y cualquier brecha en el descubrimiento de deficiencias” en la metodología, dice, tendría el mayor impacto en estas comunidades.

Garcetti Calls for More Latinos In Next President’s Administration

July 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention, said Tuesday he feels more Latinos need to be appointed to top-level positions in the next presidential administration, and not just to positions focusing on immigration and labor.

During a panel discussion and briefing on Latino political participation, Garcetti noted that recognizing the power of the Latino vote is not enough, and more Latinos need to be placed in positions of power in the federal government.

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, which organized the panel discussion, projects that the number of Latinos expected to vote in November is expected to grow by more than 30 percent to 13.1 million, up from the 9.7 million who voted in the 2008 presidential
election.

“I think that we still have (presidential) candidates who are getting comfortable with the Latino community,” said Garcetti, who recently joined the NALEO board. “There’s not anybody really speaking with the fluency that I think we need to see.”

With appointments made under the recent two Democratic presidential administrations, “there’s like this ceiling,” he said.

“We have to figure out a way to make that very clear … when President Clinton, the next President Clinton is in place, that you know, a cabinet position or two isn’t enough.”

Garcetti added that those who have the power to make the appointments often complain there are not enough qualified Latinos for the positions, but he feels they are not searching hard enough.

“I think they’re looking for Latinos with big names,” said Garcetti, whose paternal grandfather was born in Mexico. “Latinos don’t have big names, and so it becomes a vicious cycle.”

Garcetti added he is concerned that, especially with Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump’s stance on illegal immigration, Latino leaders will again be relegated to dealing with issues like immigration or equal employment, and not be considered for positions in other areas.

“We’re put back into a box,” he said. “If you’re silent that’s unacceptable, we let that happen, but if you speak out, we’re speaking out to, again, just be defending ourselves on issues of immigration.

“We can’t get to education, we can’t be the leaders on national security, we can’t be the U.N. ambassador, we can’t do the things that was the next step. He pushed us back into playing an old game.”

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a former Los Angeles City Councilman, was also part of the panel with Garcetti. He painted a more optimistic picture, saying that Trump could galvanize Latino voters in the same way as California’s Proposition 187 in 1994 — which sought to restrict access to public services for immigrants who entered the country illegally — by drawing more Latinos into the political arena at a national level.

Garcetti, noting that he is slated to speak at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, said he wants to use his speech to steer the election from just responding to Trump, and from treating the convention merely as an audition for the 2020 election.

“It’s actually about what is the work the two of them are going to do, because it’s not about an election,” he said. “We fixate on national elections and I guarantee you, I ran into somebody, you know, who was already talking about candidates for 2020, and we haven’t even held this election …
it’s not what can we do for this country for four years. So how we govern in between is how we get millennials and how we get our community activated.”

Garcetti’s campaign adviser Bill Carrick said the mayor’s convention speaking time has not been confirmed.

Garcetti on Monday also took part in a news conference with labor groups to promote raising the minimum wage. In addition to the NALEO panel, Garcetti also joined a luncheon of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

On Thursday, he is scheduled to attend the breakfast hosted by the California delegation and a panel by the Brady Campaign on the use of guns in hate crimes.

Memorial Tree for Congressman Roybal Planted on Capitol Grounds

March 17, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A tree was planted Wednesday on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in memory of Rep. Edward R. Roybal, who spent three decades in Congress representing a Los Angeles-area district.

The father of Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Los Angeles, was also a member of the Los Angeles City Council for more than a dozen years. Elected in 1949, he was the first Hispanic to serve on the council in more than a century.

He died in October 2005 at the age of 89.

A red oak was planted in his honor on the Capitol’s south side.

“In celebration of the centennial of my father’s birth, I can think of no greater tribute than the planting of this red oak tree on the U.S. Capitol grounds,” Roybal-Allard said. “If my father were alive today, of all the tributes he has received, this tree would be among his most cherished, because it is being planted between the House of Representatives, which my father truly believed is the people’s house, and the Rayburn Building, where he spent much of his 30 years in Congress doing the people’s work.

Congresswoman Roybal-Allard (third from left) and family members take part in the tree planting. (Congresswoman Roybal-Allard (third from left) and family members take part in the tree planting. (Congresswoman Roybal-Allard (third from left) and family members take part in the tree planting. (Office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard)

Congresswoman Roybal-Allard (third from left) and family members take part in the tree planting. (Congresswoman Roybal-Allard (third from left) and family members take part in the tree planting. (Congresswoman Roybal-Allard (third from left) and family members take part in the tree planting. (Office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard)

“This tree will be a living testimony to my father’s work to ignite beacons of hope and opportunity for all Americans,” she said.

Roybal was one of the era’s leading congressional voices on health care, education, housing and jobs policy. He also co-founded the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and founded the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

The tree-planting marked the centennial of Roybal’s birth, which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the CHC.

In 2014, President Barack Obama awarded Rep. Roybal the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously. In his remarks at the medal presentation, Obama said of Rep. Roybal, “He left us nearly a decade ago, but Edward Roybal was and remains a hero to so many – not just Latinos but all Americans.”

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