LOS ANGELES, CA – The Israeli-American Civic Education Institute participated in a committee hearing on the Census 2020 in Los Angeles. The hearing was co-chaired by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Miami-Dade County Public Schools Board Member Lubby Navarro, with keynote remarks by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The inaugural Los Angeles Regional Hearing, organized by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, brought together public officials, community leaders and other key stakeholders to present testimony on how challenges to a fair and accurate Census 2020 count affect our state and region’s diverse communities.

NALEO Educational Fund established the National Latino Commission on Census 2020 to compile crucial information about the impact of the challenges facing Census 2020 on achieving a fair and accurate count of the Latino community, other immigrant communities including Israeli-Americans, and all of our nation’s residents. The Commission will prepare a report that will include recommendations and best practices to address these challenges, and will be used to inform the future work of policymakers, elected officials, civic and community leaders, and other stakeholders.

 

Israeli-American Civic Education Institute Testimony

National Latino Commission on Census 2020

September 28, 2018

 

To: Lubby Navarro, Co-Chair
School Board Member, District 7
Miami Dade County Public School, Florida

Alex Padilla, Co-Chair
Secretary of State
State of California

Members of the Commission

My name is Dillon Hosier, and I serve as the Chief Advocacy Officer at the Israeli-American Civic Education Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to empowering first-generation Israeli-American immigrants, and their families, through civic engagement and advocacy education.

Israelis who have immigrated to the United States face series of unique challenges integrating into civic life in America:

  1. as a constituency, they have been invisible, neglected, and in many cases forgotten, often inaccurately confused or conflated with their American Jewish neighbors, and face inappropriate stereotypes and stigma,
  2. they are skeptical of their relevance and potential for impact, as there are only maybe about 1 million first- and second-generation Israelis living in the U.S.,
  3. lack of education about the fundamentals of the American political system, both in spirit or in function, so they often don’t participate in civic life due to ambivalence, fear, or outright intimidation.

On par with one’s right to vote, one’s right to be counted forms the very fabric and foundation of American democracy. Along with the ballot box, the census is the only tool that guarantees representation, and the Israeli-American Civic Education Insititute has taken it upon itself to ensure that Israelis residing in America are counted.

We were excited when it appeared that for the 2020 Census the Department of Commerce would finally count persons from the Middle East and North Africa and we are disappointed to learn that due to various methodological concerns that this will not happen during the 2020 count.

We express our thanks to NALEO for the formation of this important commission. We want you to know, that it is well recognized among Israeli-Americans that we have a lot in common with our Latino neighbors and a lot to learn about being a civically engaged immigrant community. Please consider us allies in your efforts moving forward and we look forward to working together. Thank you.

About the Israeli-American Civic Education Institute: The Israeli-American Civic Education Institute (“ICEI”) is a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to empowering Israeli-Americans through civic engagement and advocacy education programs.