NATIONAL LGBTQ TASK FORCE LAUNCHES PHASE 2 OF DECENNIAL “QUEER THE CENSUS” CAMPAIGN



FOR PLANNING PURPOSES
May 12, 2020
CONTACT:
Cathy Renna, crenna@thetaskforce.org, 917-757-6123

WEBSITE UPDATE, VIRTUAL“TOURS” OF THE CENSUS,
VOLUNTEER PHONEBANKS, AND A “WEEK OF ACTION”
FOCUSED ON LGBTQ+ COMMUNITIES DURING PRIDE MONTH

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, May 12, 2020, the National LGBTQ Task Force, is launching phase 2 of their “Queer the Census” campaign, continuing to mobilize LGBTQ people across the country and ensure we are counted in the 2020 Census. Starting today, the National LGBTQ Task Force debuted an updated Queer the Census landing page, will host virtual tours of the Census to take people through the form question by question and work with volunteers to make thousands of phone calls to LGBTQ people to make sure they know how to fill out the Census. Finally, in coalition with national, state, and local organizations that are part of the Census Counts campaign as well as national, state, and local LGBTQ organizations across the country, will prepare for an LGBTQ Census week of action and advocacy beginning June 8. All of these events, including registration information, can be found on the queerthecensus.org website.

The Census helps LGBTQ communities access billions in federal funding for social programs, helps us build political power, and helps us enforce civil rights protections. While the Census doesn’t ask questions about sexual orientation or gender identity, it’s still vital for us to be counted. Filling out the Census is a critical component in building our collective power to fight for our rights – including the right to be fully represented in the Census count. Like other marginalized communities, LGBTQ people have historically been undercounted on the Census. The ‘Queer the Census’ campaign is working to change that, so that our community can access the things it needs most – dollars, democracy, and justice.

Meghan Maury, Policy Director, National LGBTQ Task Force

The National LGBTQ Task Force, along with partner organizations including PFLAG, NQAPIA, the National Black Justice Coalition, the Movement Advancement Project, Equality California, Equality North Carolina, the Montrose Center, the LA LGBTQ Center, the NYC LGBT Center and dozens of others, are organizing to ensure communities the census has historically missed have the information and resources they need to get counted — so they don’t miss out on critical community resources and political power. For nearly 50 years, the National LGBTQ Task Force has organized digitally and directly on-the-ground, and the Census has been a focus of our advocacy since 1990.

The National LGBTQ Task Force has also signed on to the Census Counts campaign.

BACKGROUND:

The National LGBTQ Task Force (the Task Force) is a progressive social justice organization with an LGBTQ lens. Our mission is to work toward a society that values and respects the diversity of human expression and identity and achieves equity for all. We strive toward that mission through our Queer the Census campaign by acting as a resource for people and organizations that represent the full diversity of the LGBTQ movement and leveraging our expertise to build power and activate organizers to create change.

The LGBTQ community is overrepresented in most of the categories that the Census Bureau has typically had difficulty reaching. Non-white racial and ethnic groups are more likely to identify as LGBTQ, and LGBTQ immigrants are slightly more likely to be undocumented. LGBTQ people, especially women, bisexual people, and transgender people, are more likely to live in poverty. 40% of young people experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ; because periods of homelessness often make permanent housing stability less likely, it is expected that similar rates are present in the adult homeless population. Young people are much more likely to identify as LGBTQ, and that number has been increasing with every successive generation. Although LGBTQ people are more concentrated in urban areas, same-sex couples live in every Congressional district in the country. LGBTQ people who live at the intersections of multiple marginalized identities (i.e., lesbian and Black, transgender and undocumented), experience exponentially higher rates of poverty, homelessness, and involvement in the criminal legal system.

LGBTQ people are more likely to need access to the programs funded using Census data, are fighting to achieve or defend our civil rights in dozens of states, and face unique challenges in accessing community supports.

Census Counts — which is housed at The Leadership Conference Education Fund — is a nationwide campaign working to ensure hard-to-count communities aren’t missed in the 2020 Census, through education, training, organizing, and outreach. There are three main prongs:

  • The national Get Out the Count (GOTC) coalition
  • The States Count Action Network
  • Census Champions: a network of elected officials and library trustees working to ensure a fair and accurate count

Our organizations include people and networks who live and work in the communities most at risk of being missed in the 2020 Census. As trusted national and local messengers, Census Counts organizations are able to communicate the facts and importance of the census, provide resources to facilitate participation, and address community members’ concerns.
This includes training and educating people and community leaders about the 2020 Census, translating materials into languages the U.S Census Bureau will not, and monitoring Bureau activities to ensure they are best serving hard-to-count populations.

###