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Dolores Huerta speaks on stage at The United State of Women Summit 2018 - Day 1 on May 5, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images
Dolores Huerta speaks on stage at The United State of Women Summit 2018 - Day 1 on May 5, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images.

Dolores Huerta to Latinos: Vote and participate in the census

The legendary labor leader made the remarks at a sold-out breakfast held by the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 11.

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Sixty years after her fight on for the unionization of California’s predominantly Mexican and Filipino farmworkers alongside César Chávez, Dolores Huerta is still just as passionate in fighting for her fellow Latinos across the country.

This time, the upcoming election and census are on her radar.

At a breakfast held by San Antonio’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 11, Huerta implored her fellow Latinos to participate in both.

In a half-hour interview, which touched on many topics, the 89 year old stressed their importance and the power Latinos across the country have to impact the outcomes.

For the census, Huertas drew on Latinos’ strong sense of community while citing statistics for how much money could be left on the table for not participating.

“For each one of us that gets counted, we bring in $20,000 into our community,” she was quoted as saying by the San Antonio-based Rivard Report. “Over 10 years, $20,000. If you have a family of four, how much are we going to lose? That money is going to health care, to infrastructure, to education. We’re not going to have that money if they don’t get counted.”

She also set the record straight on the citizenship question, saying that it won’t be part of the census and that the process is confidential.

“Que no tengan miedo. Don’t be afraid. Please. It’s your responsibility to get counted, to fill out that questionnaire, to participate,” she was quoted on Texas Public Radio.

Regardless of the absence of the question, a new survey from NALEO and Latino Decisions still found a majority of Latinos think the Trump administration will use census data against them. 

The most recent Latino population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, put the population at close to 60 million, with the actual number likely higher.

As Huertas asserted, if all of them fill out the census, it will have sweeping effects across national and local education, infrastructure and health care. 

But it will also affect the amount of congressional appointments each state has in the House of Representatives, with some gaining and losing seats. This will change how many electoral college votes each state represents in a presidential election.    

Speaking of elections, Huerta also implored Latinos to participate, placing them alongside the African-American community, women and feminists as “the referees” of the 2020 election.

“We can call the election. We can make it happen,” she said.

There are a projected 32 million Latinos across the U.S. eligible to vote in 2020.

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