For Immediate Release
March 25, 2009

Contact: Eric Wagner (213) 747-7606, ext. 4427



LOS ANGELES - The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Gov. Gary Locke to serve as Secretary of the Department of Commerce:

“We congratulate Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke on his confirmation and urge him to make a complete and accurate 2010 Census a priority from his first day in office. We are greatly encouraged by his statements during the Senate confirmation hearing where he expressed his overall commitment to ensuring that the 2010 Census produces the most accurate count possible of the nation’s population.  The Secretary emphasized that he intends to be personally involved in overseeing the 2010 Census process and getting the right personnel in place in order to ensure a successful enumeration.  In addition, he noted the importance of an effective outreach program to educate members of the public about the Census and its impact on their communities.”

“During these troubled economic times, the Bureau will need to tackle the difficult task of finding and reaching residents who have been displaced from their homes or who feel disengaged from society and reluctant to participate in the Census.”

“For the Latino community, it is critical that the Bureau implements an effective Census communications plan, one that emphasizes the importance of a full count of Latinos, and the confidentiality of the information provided.  In addition, the Bureau must promote outreach strategies adapted to the cultural and linguistic diversity of the Latino population.  It is also important that the Bureau hires the diverse workforce needed for an accurate count, including Latinos in top managerial and field positions.”

“We also urge Secretary Locke to work closely with the President and Congress to ensure the swift appointment and confirmation of an experienced director for the Census Bureau who can assume responsibility immediately for oversight of the complex work plan needed for a complete and accurate 2010 Census.  Moreover, the Secretary must actively promote an FY 2010 budget that includes sufficient funding for the Bureau to meet the challenges facing the 2010 enumeration.” 

“An accurate decennial Census and a full count of America’s population are essential for our nation’s well-being and prosperity.  As the leading Latino organization in the area of Census policy development and public education, and as a member of the Secretary of Commerce’s 2010 Census Advisory Committee, the NALEO Educational Fund looks forward to working with Secretary Locke to achieve this important goal.”  


About NALEO Educational Fund

The NALEO Educational Fund is the nation's leading non-profit organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.