Speech ● Congress
For Immediate Release: 
March 5, 2020
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined Members of the Congressional Tri-Caucus – composed of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) – for a press conference on the 2020 Census and the impact of the historical undercount of communities of color. Below is a transcript of his remarks.

“I want to thank all the Members of the Caucuses that are here, including the Chairman of our [Democratic] Caucus [Hakeem] Jeffries, Vice Chair [Katherine] Clark. I imagine Chairwoman [Carolyn] Maloney will be here. As the Speaker said, she has been an extraordinary advocate on not only making sure the Census was adequately funded, but [the Census Bureau is] adequately empowered to count every American. The Native American Caucus [is represented] as well. [Congresswoman] Haaland represents the Native American [community].

“We have a diverse caucus, and in doing so, we represent all of America. And all of American needs to be counted. Our Founding Fathers did not say every citizen, every property owner, every white person – they excluded some people in terms of the laws – but they said that every person ought to be counted. Why? Because they knew it was critical for the successful operations of government, for the distribution of revenues from the federal government to the local governments to assist every American, that everybody be counted, and we know where they lived, what community lived [in].

“But I want to echo the comments that were made by Congresswoman [Judy] Chu. This law provides that this information can be used for nothing other than counting Americans. Now, when I say Americans – every person -  whether they are a citizen or not. They did not mention citizens. Cesar Chavez was one of the great civil rights leaders for farm workers in our country, and he said that we do not need a perfect a system. We do need perfect participation, knowing full well that the system may not be absolutely perfect, but if we perfectly participated and made our voices heard and voted but also be counted, our country would be better off.

“An undercount would mean that we don’t accurately distribute funds. I am proud to stand with my colleagues to urge every single person who lives… in my district, in my state, in my country to make sure that when they get the form, respond in whatever way they feel most comfortable – paper, telephone, electronic device. Respond so that people will be counted.

“I want to thank the people behind me, whose voice is such a strong voice on behalf of every person who lives in America. So, I am glad to be here with all of you, and I hope that everybody watching, everybody that you write to will understand that this is important for them. It’s important for their children, its important to their families, its important to their communities and their neighbors. Fill out that form. We will do everything to make sure that we believe the law will be followed. This form will be used only for the purposes of counting. Now, I yield to… the Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Mr. [Joaquin] Castro.”