Texas County Sues Commerce Dept. Over Census Undercount

[Editor’s Note: The following is a press release from The Rio Grande Equal Voice Network, which previously protested the massive undercount of Latinos along the South Texas border. Now they are applauding a decision by the Hidalgo County Commissioners to sue the Department of Commerce over the “extraordinary” undercount that will cost the area that’s 90% Latinos millions in funding.]

The Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network welcomes Tuesday’s news of Hidalgo County’s plans to file a lawsuit against the US Department of Commerce. The Court’s actions appear to be spurred on by the official results of the 2010 Census, which seem to reflect an extraordinary undercount, as well as the well-documented criticism of the methods Census 2010 used in their survey of colonia families.  The decision by the Commissioners’ Court and County Judge Ramon Garcia is a clear indication of the resolve of county leadership to seek a redress to this situation.

Asked to respond to the news of the proposed legal action, Eva Carranza of the Colonia South Tower and an active member of the Equal Voice Network’s ARISE said, “I am grateful that the Judge took me into account, as the census did not, and I really felt excluded.”

Yolanda H., also of Colonia South Tower and a member of the Equal Voice Network’s Proyecto Azteca said, “I am grateful that the county is standing up for all of us. It is sometimes just too easy to let injustice go by.”

The undercount by the Census represents a dramatic loss of vital resources to our Valley communities.

More than funding, the Equal Voice Network realizes that political representation will also be determined using Census data. An accurate count is necessary for truly democratic representation.Francisco Martinez a member of La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) from Colonia Bashan declared, “I vote and I want to be sure that I get to vote for someone who will represent me and my family’s interests.”

The Equal Voice Network recognizes that that with this lawsuit, the County Judge and the County Commissioners are doing precisely that—representing the best interests of the entire county. The Equal Voice Network’s Hidalgo County members are LUPE, ARISE, Proyecto Azteca and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.

To contact the Equal Voice Network, email: [email protected].

[Image Courtesy CAP]

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