Contact: Ricki McCarroll
Founder & Principal Consultant
NUNA Consulting Group
P: 202 503 9169 | C: 310 365 5272
For Immediate Release
SACRAMENTO—The Native People Count California campaign is pleased to welcome the Mixteco/Indígena Community Organizing Project (MICOP) into a statewide Indigenous coalition partnership for the 2020 Census in California.
Native People Count California, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, and MICOP will be hosting joint and independent events from September 7-12. On September 10, they will come together to celebrate 2020 California Census Indigenous Peoples Day, raising awareness on the importance of collecting full and accurate data from our Indigenous communities through the Census.
The U.S. Census Bureau recently cut the deadline to complete the Census by 30 days, ending September 30. Initially, the U.S. Census Bureau formally agreed to a cut-off date of October 31 due to health and safety concerns of collecting data during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an overwhelming undercount of our Indigenous communities across the state and the country. Billions of dollars in federal program funding is at stake to support these historically underserved communities and can be further marginalized by an incomplete Census count.
Partnerships are an essential step in achieving a complete and accurate Indigenous people count, including urban and rural Native Americans and Indigenous migrant communities. Indigenous peoples are considered “hard-to-count” under the Census. The Census will be the most vital source of nationally representative survey data about Indigenous communities for the next ten years.
Victor Espinosa, MICOP Farmworker Census Outreach Director, said, “The 2020 Census is a critical opportunity for Indigenous peoples to self-identify with their communities of origin in order to ensure political representation and federal resources over the next ten years. MICOP’s collaboration with NPCCA responds to a shared desire among Indigenous migrant communities, such as Mixteco, Zapoteco, and Purepecha, and California tribal communities, to work together toward a complete count. As we approach the close of the 2020 Census, MICOP will be all-hands-on-deck to provide culturally and linguistically-appropriate census outreach.”
Ricki McCarroll, Native People Count California Team Lead, said, “We are proud to combine California’s Indigenous peoples energy into this exciting joint effort in getting our hardest of hard-to-count communities involved in the 2020 Census. The Mixteco/Indígena Community’s mission in advocacy and grassroots organizing reflects similar values and vision of the Native People Count California campaign’s efforts in providing an accurate and complete count of Indigenous people in the 2020 Census. We need to work together to make sure our communities know how to respond to the Census. We have only 30 more days to complete the Census – we urgently need to get our people counted before the September 30 deadline.”
Native People Count California is the official California complete count – Census 2020 tribal media outreach campaign. Launched in January 2020 – the Native People Count CA campaign is a collaboration between the Governor’s Office of the Tribal Advisor, the California Complete Count – Census 2020 office, and Tribal Media Outreach Partners NUNA Consulting Group, LLC, California Indian Manpower Consortium, Inc. (CIMC), and the California Native Vote Project (CNVP). Native People Count CA was created with the belief that the 2020 Census is an integral piece to upholding the fiduciary responsibility by the United States federal government to Tribes and its delegated authority to state and local governments.
The Mixteco/Indígena Community Organizing Project (MICOP) unites indigenous leaders and allies to strengthen the Mixtec and indigenous immigrant community in Ventura County, estimated at 20,000 people. Most are strawberry farmworkers, and many speak primarily their indigenous language. MICOP’s majority-indigenous staff builds community leadership and self-sufficiency through education and training programs, language interpretation, health outreach, humanitarian support, and cultural promotion. We organize the community to advocate for shared concerns. MICOP reaches approximately 6,000 individuals each year. MICOP is also the founder and home of Radio Indigena, out of Oxnard, CA, a radio station with programming in indigenous languages such as Mixteco.