Just a couple of months after the 2020 Census begins, the City Hall of the City of Los Angeles works hard to recruit and train Goodwill Ambassadors (CGA) to support this national event.

This program, headed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, prepares citizens with the goal of becoming experts within their communities to educate about the importance of the Census.

Another task is to encourage participation within areas that are more difficult to count.
“We are training people to know why the Census is so important for our city,” explained the director of the Census for City Hall, María de la Luz García.

"57% of Los Angeles is considered difficult to count … It includes communities like Boyle Heights, East Hollywood, North Hollywood, Pacoima, Wilmington, South Los Angeles, San Pedro and others … Places where there are not only Latinos, but also other minorities, such as African Americans, Asians and immigrants in particular, ”he added.

The participation of the entire community in the Census is of vital importance for the development of the city, since that depends on the representation in Congress and how more than $ 115,000 million is spent annually in California in schools, medical care, housing and others programs that benefit citizens.

You do not have to be afraid

“Being an ambassador is important to be counted, so as not to live in the shadows, many of the resources that come to the communities have to do with the number of people there are,” said Deisy Gutiérrez, who since December has been a Census volunteer and specialist in substance abuse prevention at the Koreatown Youth Community Center (KYCC).

“For example, in the Koreatown area, people have the mentality that there are only Koreans but no, there is a lot of Latino community. Unfortunately, the services are not for them, so it is important not to be afraid to share their information, so they are not afraid of knowing that they exist. ”

Gutierrez, a beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, understands the importance of participating in the Census, because part of his work in an organization is to support communities based on their needs.

“The day of my training for the Census was a lot of Latino community, with whom we work, because they trust us and that's good. I felt proud to be that voice, I feel empowered to make a difference in the community, ”said the woman born in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Brenda Guzmán attended the Census event. For information in Spanish go to: bit.ly/38vS2H9

Key help

The Goodwill Ambassadors program is important so that more people know the benefits of the Census and feel confident to participate.

"Once the person is trained, they can educate their family, friends and neighbors," says the director of the Census for City Hall.

And although the ambassadors will not be official pollsters, they will be able to guide and offer resources to residents who have questions about it.

"We need the count to be as accurate as possible to obtain the necessary funds for education, housing, transportation and health programs so it is important that everyone is aware of what happens between March and July," Garcia added.

Latinos, present

The trainings for ambassadors are free and will be held in different parts of the city until the end of February. The experts will prepare the ambassadors with accurate and updated information; They will also receive all the necessary material to help their acquaintances.

In the training conducted days ago at the Cahuenga Bookstore in East Hollywood, Latinos came to inform themselves and to volunteer.

Fabiola Montiel arrived with her little daughter Rania, 6, to train to prepare and help her community.

“I am here to be an ambassador because I believe that this Census will be successful if everyone does a little. There is a lot of information that needs to be shared so that everyone knows how important it is, since it defines our life for the next 10 years, ”said the Mexican who is community relations manager for First 5 LA.

Montiel wants to be well informed because when working in an organization that advocates for children from 0 to 5 years old, he knows that they run the risk of not being properly counted.

"I am a person who works for the rights of children and I believe that, if I inform myself, I will be able to better inform other people about the importance of the Census," he said.

Leticia Ibarra, a 44-year-old volunteer and promoter, also attended the training to put her grain of sand and support the development of Latinos.

“It is important that everyone is counted so that there are enough resources in California, to support their people one always has to take time and that's why I am here,” said the native of Mexico City.

For his part, Brenda Guzmán, said that motivated by his children he came to the training and does it for his community: “I want to help mine to make themselves count, it is important that we participate in the Census to help schools, to health, this belongs to everyone and for everyone ”.

The director of the Census for Mayor said that it is important for people to know that there will be no questions about citizenship and that their information is protected.

Fabiola Montiel, who attended training with her daughter Rania, said she was confident that this count will be successful.

Volunteer Bonds

The mayor's office has offered bonuses for those who decide to approach training and be an ambassador.

“A benefit of participating in our program is that you can receive a gift of $ 100 for organizing an event and if it is a non-profit organization, that organization can receive a grant of $ 500, we hope that with that incentive we can attract people and thus reach more people, ”Garcia explained.


Thursday, February 20
Time: 6:30 p.m. at 8:00 p.m.
Location: Luther Burbank Middle School, located at 6460 N. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90042.

Thursday, February 27
Time: 6:30 p.m. at 8:00 p.m.
Location: Weingart YMCA Wellness & Aquatic Center, at 9900 S. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90044.

To register visit: bit.ly/38x8rei


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