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Martinez calls for complete 2020 Census count during Latino Unity Day

Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. MartinezSpeaking at a Latino Unity Day press conference on Wednesday, Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez stressed the importance of a complete count in Illinois during the 2020 Census.

“Each person not counted means revenue lost for the State of Illinois from the federal government,” Martinez said. “This means fewer dollars for roads and infrastructure, less money for education, less reimbursement for cities and towns, less money for essential human services and less money for the most vulnerable among us.”

Martinez is the sponsor of Senate Bill 1408, which would appropriate $25 million to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to provide grants to community providers and local governments to encourage full participation in the upcoming Census.

Martinez cited a recent study by the Chicago Urban League that found that over 40 percent of Illinois’ black residents and 1 in 3 Latino residents lives in a hard-to-count community.

She also said the threat of an incomplete count is heightened by a proposed citizenship question on the census that would make immigrant communities reluctant to participate in the census.

“In today’s world, with the rhetoric coming from the White House, we need to educate people and make sure they are not fearful,” she said.

Martinez said she is working closely with the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus to ensure that every hard-to-count group is covered.

View Martinez’s full remarks below.

Senator Iris Y. Martinez

Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez

Assistant Majority Leader
20th District

Years served:
2003 - Present
 
Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Education; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive; Government Accountability/Pensions (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation.

Biography: Born Feb. 25, 1956, in Chicago; earned her bachelor's degree in public policy and administration from Northeastern Illinois University in 2009; elected president of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. She is also the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Co-Chair; has one daughter.

Associated Representatives:
Jaime M. Andrade, Jr.
Will Guzzardi