Local Latinx community members pushing for better representation on U.S Census

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DES MOINES, Iowa — As the country is becoming more diverse, it is getting more difficult to check what you identify as on the U.S Census.

On the 2020 Census, U.S citizens were able to define their ethnicity as Hispanic or Latino. However, there was no Hispanic or Latino option in the race category. Some in the local Latinx community say this leads to underrepresentation and a possible lack of resources. 

“I feel that we need to be identified and that’s where we don’t get enough funding because we’re not identified,” Zuli Garcia said. 

Zuli Garcia created a food bank called Knock and Drop Iowa, the first in the state to be culturally specific to the Latinx community.

Last year Knock and Drop Iowa fed more than 10,000 families but without help from the state or federal government. 

According to the U.S Census Bureau, one in seven people in the U.S identified as “some other race” on the 2020 census, with 82% of Iowans who checked the “some other race” box also identifying as Hispanic Latino. 

Iowa’s chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens is advocating for the White House to sign off on combining the race and identity question on the census as a simple solution.

“If we as Latinos have these questions that are more clear, more concise, we will be able to embrace our culture and our history with the census data,” State Political Director, Joe  Enriquez Henry said. 

The proposal did not pass in time for the 2020 census but Henry said LULAC will keep advocating for the change to be made for the 2030 census.

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