Executive Director Jerry Gonzalez Honored in 41 LGBTQ Latinx Role Models

April 14, 2020 Alberto B. Mendoza
HONOR 41 Announces 2020 “The 41 List” Honorees

41 List Recognizes 41 LGBTQ Latinx Role Models

LOS ANGELES, CA – Honor 41 is proud to announce the fifth edition of “The 41 List,” which
celebrates 41 LGBTQ Latinx role models. This year’s 41 List includes a diverse group of
distinguished professors, journalists, community leaders, actors, elected officials, activists, non-profit
leaders, artists, students, entrepreneurs, and more.

“Honor 41 promotes awareness and positive images of the Latinx LGBTQ community. Celebrating
this year’s honorees and sharing their stories is an incredible personal honor,” said Alberto B.
Mendoza, founder of Honor 41 and Producer of The 41 List. “Their work is paving the way for the
Latinx LGBTQ community to come out and embrace their lives with authentically and with orgullo.”
Beginning April 21, video interviews of each honoree will be released on the organization’s social
media channels and website. The videos highlight each of the honoree’s personal experience with
coming out and how religion, culture, family, and HIV/AIDS have impacted their lives.
To view a video of all 41 honorees click here.

There are nine different countries that represent our honorees which include the United States,
Puerto Rico, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela, Spain,Cuba, and Uruguay. Our honorees
come from 20 different cities and 30 percent of them are under the age of 30, and 25 percent identify
as transgender or gender-nonconforming.

Amongst the group is a professor, a city council member, two survivors of pulse, founder of the
International Imperial court, five journalists, ten executive directors, actors, documentarians, students,
president of the Realtors Association, and more.

The 2020 honorees are:
1. Thom A. Hernandez, Palm Springs
2. Giuliani J. Alvarenga, New Orleans
3. Eddy F. Alvarez Jr. Portland OR,
4. Jamie Arangure, San Diego
5. Damian Cabrera, San Juan,
6. Nancy Cañas, DC
7. Felicia Carbajal, Los Angeles
8. Cora Cervantes, Los Angeles
9. Michaé De La Cuadra, Los Angeles
10. Brian De Los Santos, Palm Springs

11. Jose Luis Dieppa, Orlando
12. Ashley Figueroa, Orlando
13. Robert Gamboa, Los Angeles
14. Jesse Garcia, DC
15. Ana Gomez, DC
16. Brandon Gomez, NYC
17. Jerry Gonzalez, Atlanta
18. Jonatan Guerrero, Charleston
19. Yozantli J. Lagunas, Sacramento
20. Andres Martinez, Anaheim

21. Eddie Martinez, Los Angeles
22. Maritza Martinez, Oakland
23. Jorge Matamoros, Madrid, Spain
24. Julio Matamoros, Madrid, Spain
25. Morgan Mayfaire, Miami
26. Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, DC
27. Ryan Mendoza, Los Angeles
28. Xelestial Moreno-Luz, San Diego
29. Nicole Murray Ramirez, San Diego
30. Ricardo J. Negron-Almodovar,
31. Karari Olvera Orozco, Chicago
32. Alexis Ortega, Palm Springs
33. Andre Perez, Berkeley
34. Ezak Perez, Los Angeles
35. Francisco Ruiz, Atlanta
36. Valerie Palacios, Louisville
37. Li ann (Estrella) Sanchez, Atlanta
38. Antonio Santos, Chicago
39. Robert Salcido, San Antonio
40. Monica Trasandes, Los Angeles
41. Jamie Zapata, San Antonio

Quotes from honorees:
Robert Salcido, Director of the San Antonio LGBTQ Center

“Growing up as a young Queer Latino, examples that showed me that I could
simultaneously be Queer, successful, and thrive were nonexistent. Being honored by
The 41 List is an opportunity for me to represent those qualities to our younger
generations now and in the future.”

Jaime Zapata

“Positive role models are important for the LGBTQ+ community because many of us
struggled without any kind of support in the past.  When we advocate for ourselves and
others, we shatter the stereotypes placed on us by society and break barriers for the
next generation.”

Lisbeth Melendez Rivera

“As a Puerto Rican butch dyke who was raised in Caguas, Puerto Rico, I carry the
struggles and resilience of my people with me. I am humbled to be recognized by Honor
41 for more than seven years of passion-filled work in Latinx, queer and trans, and faith-
rooted movements for social justice. I send my congratulations to all of the other
honorees. Es siempre un honor ser reconocida por y con mis compatriotas. Pa’lante

Ricardo Negron-Almodovar

“This labor of love done by Honor 41 is nothing short of remarkable. As a proud gay
boricua, I feel very honored to be included in a list with so many amazing, powerful and
fearless people. It’s so important for our community to have a space where we are
uplifted, celebrated  and where other LGBTQ+ latinx individuals can find leaders and
role models to look up to, learn together and create meaningful connections.”

Jerry Gonzalez

“In the Latinx community, we do need to have dignity in our GLBTQ community and the
many contributions we make.  I am a proud Latino, who is also a gay man.  I do my
work for the community and I bring my whole self to the table.  That is what makes us
more passionate and stronger about our work.”

Jonatan Guerrero

Honor41 celebrating role models in our community means this giving us a platform to
highlight the work folxs are doing in small cities and in our small communities. This
platform highlights the grassroots organizers and is giving our people the hope and
drive to keep moving forward. This nation was built by the sweat of immigrants and
highlighting our LGBTQ+ leaders is showing the process we are making for the next
generation to come! Our journey is not over yet, this is just the beginning for us! I am
honored to be part of this list and I hope my story will help influence our youth para
seguir luchando y saber que sí se puede!!!

Jamie Arangure

Es un privilegio ser parte de los #41 Honor 2019-2020 y compartir este reconocimiento
con todos los elegidos en esta edición, ya que nuestra misión es servir a los demás con
el propósito de alcanzar la igualdad justa para nuestra comunidad " LGBT+" El
reconocer a nuestros líderes activistas de la comunidad es de suma importancia, lo
cual es una motivación para seguir logrando nuestras metas, tomando esta plataforma
para crecer individual y profesionalmente.

Jesse Garcia

“It is an honor to be recognized in this virtual museum of people who not only bravely
came out of the closet but took to the streets to fight for our right to exist. So many
stories and journeys would have been lost and ignored by history books because of our
orientation, gender, skin color and/or where we originated. No more. Our revolution will
be televised.”

Why celebrating role models is important:
“I’m a storyteller and focus my podcast regularly on Latinx people who are making
positive change. I appreciate Honor 41’s similar mission of recognizing role models,
both young and old, who give hope to the next generation. These children need to see
one of us making it in this world. Our success provides them a roadmap on how to get
out of a hurtful place. So many grow up unloved, unsupported and mistreated for being
queer. Our journeys will help guide them.”

Cora Cervantes:

I am proud and honored to be a part of the Honor 41 project. This project is important to
me because it gave me a space to share a part of my story with my family, friends, and
community. My choice to participate in the Honor 41 project is rooted in the belief that
we must be for others what we needed at a young age. I wish that as a young Latina I
had access to space like this one.
It is important to increase our visibility so that the next generation can find examples of
resilience, acceptance, community, and pride. I hope that the collection of these stories
helps to continue to bridge the gap in understanding within the Latino community.


Honor 41’s name originates from an anti-gay hate crime that took place in Mexico City.
In the 1901 incident, 41 men were beaten, arrested, and eventually disappeared for
their sexual orientation. Since then, the number 41 has been used as slang in Mexico to
refer to gay men. Honor 41 reclaims the number to honor inspirational individuals in the
LGBTQ community and their tireless work toward acceptance and equality. For more
information about Honor 41, an independent 501(c)(3), online non-profit organization,
please visit:

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Voting Rights Advocates File Emergency Suit Seeking to Provide Access to Bilingual Absentee Ballot Applications in Georgia


April 13, 2020


Voting Rights Advocates File Emergency Suit Seeking to Provide Access to Bilingual Absentee Ballot Applications in Georgia


Lawsuit Filed by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on Behalf of Georgia Organizations


April 13, 2020, Atlanta, GA – Today, voting rights advocates filed an emergency lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  The plaintiffs are demanding that Gwinnett County provide bilingual absentee ballot applications to Spanish speaking voters.  They seek to remedy election officials’ recently mailing English-only applications to voters in violation of federal law.  The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (“Lawyers’ Committee”) and the Law Firm of Bryan Sells LLC brought the suit on behalf of Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO); Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda (People’s Agenda); Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta (Advancing Justice); New Georgia Project (NGP) and Common Cause.


The plaintiffs will be seeking emergency relief as soon as possible because the English-only applications can be used in the June 9 primary.  They seek to provide bilingual absentee ballot applications to Gwinnett County’s Spanish-speaking voters.  They are guaranteed the right to receive election materials in English and Spanish under Sections 203 and 4(e) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


“Sending English-only absentee ballot applications in a diverse county covered under Section 203 is yet another attempt at voter suppression, which is a direct violation of the constitutional rights,” said Kristen Clarke, Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee. “With Georgia’s primary election looming, it is imperative that Gwinnett County and other Georgia counties comply with their obligations under the Voting Rights Act and permit Spanish-speaking voters an equal opportunity to cast their ballot and have their voice heard.”


The lawsuit alleges that Gwinnett County’s failure to send the Spanish language version of the absentee ballot application violates the minority language access provisions of the Voting Rights Act.  Moreover, there is no Spanish language version of the form available for download from the Secretary of State’s website.  There is no Spanish language version visible on the Gwinnett County Elections’ website.  Voters only have the option of clicking on a button in the bottom right hand corner to find an inaccurate computer-generated translation of the application.  The lawsuit asks that election officials post an accurately translated version of the application on their websites.


“Section 203 protects access to all Spanish language dominant voters in Gwinnett County, regardless of who sends out election information,” said Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials.  “The Secretary of State’s office and Gwinnett County have a responsibility to ensure they provide equal access to all constituencies but failed to do so in this recent mailing of absentee ballot applications.  Given the change in date to the primary election, they have ample time to correct this mistake and send bilingual applications and ballots in full compliance with federal law.”


“As leaders scramble to ensure that the Covid-19 pandemic does not cut off access to the ballot, it’s critical that they protect voters who already face barriers to voting even when we are not in the middle of a public health crisis.  No one should have to choose between democracy and their health,” aid Phi Nguyen, Litigation Director at Advancing Justice-Atlanta.


“Gwinnett County has been covered by these provisions of the law since 2016,” said Cindy Battles, Program Coordinator at Common Cause.  “Even during a public health emergency, our laws still apply.  Elections officials should know their obligations to provide equal access to absentee ballot applications for our upcoming elections.”


“The health and safety of Gwinnett County’s Spanish-speaking voters is important and worthy of protection, too,” said Atlanta attorney Bryan Sells.


The Secretary of State and Gwinnett County must take immediate action to remedy the violation of Sections 203 and 4(e) of the Voting Rights Act.  Otherwise, Gwinnett County’s limited English proficient Spanish speaking voters will not be able to effectively cast an absentee ballot in the upcoming election.  Voting in person is not an option for many voters, particularly the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Gwinnett County became covered under Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act starting in December 2016.  Section 4(e) applies nationwide, including to the Georgia Secretary of State.


To learn more, visit the Lawyer’s Committee’s Voting Rights Project page at




About Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 57th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.


Contact: Sue Dorfman | |


About the Law Offices of Bryan L. Sells LLC

The Law Office of Bryan L. Sells is a boutique civil rights law firm, based in Atlanta, Georgia, specializing in voting rights, election law, and redistricting.


About the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials

GALEO’s mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia.  GALEO strives for a better Georgia where the Latino community is engaged civically and its contributions and concerns are recognized.


About Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta is the first nonprofit legal advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the civil rights of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities in Georgia and the Southeast.  We are one of five independent organizations that make up the national Asian Americans Advancing Justice.  Together with our affiliates in Chicago, DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco, we bring more than 100 years of collective experience in addressing the civil rights issues faced by Asian Americans and other vulnerable and underserved communities.


About the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda

The Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda (GCPA) was founded by Dr. Joseph E. Lowery and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.  It is a coalition of more than 30 organizations, which collectively have more than 5,000 individual members.  The mission of the GCPA is to improve the quality of governance in Georgia; to help create a more informed and active electorate; and to have responsive and accountable elected officials.  In addition to a primary focus upon voting empowerment and civic engagement, the GCPA maintains active committees on Education, Criminal Injustice and Environmental Justice.


About Common Cause Georgia

Common Cause Georgia is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization that works to strengthen public participation in our democracy and ensure that public officials and public institutions are accountable and responsive to citizens. Through a powerful combination of coalition building, lobbying and litigation, grassroots organizing, policy development, research, and public education, we spotlight local, state and national issues that affect every Georgian.

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NALEO Educational Fund Calls on Congress to Step in on Census 2020

April 13, 2020
Kevin Perez-Allen,
(714) 499-4481

Marcus Silva,
(510) 456-5444

NALEO Educational Fund Calls on Congress to Step in on Census 2020

Strong oversight by Congress is paramount to salvaging the 2020 Census

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund today released a statement from CEO Arturo Vargas on the Census Bureau’s request for a 120-day statutory relief of critical legislative deadlines amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis:

“In light of the recent developments from the Census Bureau, it has become clear that salvaging the 2020 Census will require Congress to step up its oversight role and act swiftly alongside the Bureau to protect the enumeration process moving forward.

“As the census is a constitutionally mandated decennial count, there is only so much the Bureau can do on its own to maintain the integrity of the process amid a national crisis like the one we are experiencing with COVID-19.  Congress has the authority and obligation to work with the Bureau in taking a close look at all steps required to ensure an accurate count of all residents in the United States.

“We realize the current challenges before the Bureau.  We also understand the risks our community faced of an undercount before the COVID-19 pandemic – from significant changes to Census 2020 operations, to a lack of funding and oversight from Congress during the critical planning years leading up to 2020, to what our research revealed as a lingering chilling effect from the Trump Administration’s failed attempt to add a citizenship question.  The totality of the situation we now find ourselves in demands that our government rises to the occasion with transparent, steady, and deliberate action to salvage the 2020 Census.

“As households began receiving invitations on March 12, our organization has been steadfast in promoting Latino self-response online, by phone, or by mail.  And as paper forms are arriving now, we have launched a Latino Census Week of Action in partnership with our friends at Comcast NBCUniversal Telemundo, some of Broadway’s top Latino performers, and many of our Latino census partners to aggressively push self-response via mail.  A strong self-response rate reduces the number of households the Census Bureau must pursue to obtain census data during the Non-Response Follow Up (NRFU) period.

“While high self-response rates can help reduce the workload for NRFU, this operation is the most vital element for completing the census and achieving a 100 percent count of Latinos and other populations.  We will be scrutinizing the Census Bureau’s NRFU plans and operations when they resume, ensuring that they are sufficiently robust and aggressive in reaching all households that did not self-respond in the initial phase of the census.  An incomplete or inadequate NRFU operation is not an option.

“NALEO Educational Fund remains committed to our partnership with the Census Bureau during these extraordinary times.  As the Latino population continues to grow and flourish, it is essential that the census reflects this reality both for the sake of our community’s future and the overall integrity of the census.  Latinos represent the second-largest population group in the country.  An undercount of Latinos would mean a failed census.  This census must, at a minimum, match the count of our community from the 2010 Census, with better accuracy in 2020, capturing our growth and diversity correctly.  Anything less would be unacceptable.

“The Census Bureau’s request for deadline extensions is a sobering reminder of the importance of completing the census in a timely manner without sacrificing accuracy.  Time is not on our side.  The further enumeration operations take place from April 1, the less accurate and complete the count becomes.  Additionally, a 120-day statutorily-mandated deadline relief for delivering apportionment counts and redistricting data does not give license to the states to proceed with redistricting in a manner that compromises constitutional and Voting Rights Act protections for voters or public participation and input in the process.

“The Constitution places the responsibility for carrying out the decennial census squarely in the hands of Congress.  In light of this obligation, it is time for Congress to take a strong leadership and oversight role if Census 2020 is to be saved.”

Residents can self-respond to the census online at or over the
phone in English by dialing 844-330-2020 or in Spanish at 844-468-2020.  Paper census forms are arriving in the mail from April 8-16, which can be returned via mail once completed.

Individuals with questions about the census can call NALEO Educational Fund’s toll-free national
census bilingual hotline at 877-EL-CENSO (877-352-3676) – Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.–
8:30 p.m. ET to get additional information.

Partners can stay up to date on tools to continue to get out the count in Latino communities by
visiting, texting CENSUS to 97779, or by subscribing to our email list here.

About NALEO Educational Fund
NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.
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This is a time for Unity, not another round of viral hatred

March 28th, 2020

During these extraordinary times when we are all learning to live physically distant yet socially more proximate, we are seeing bias and bigotry flood our networks. Uncertainty and anxiety are too often laying the path for hatred to flourish. Our push for survival has us forgetting that community is what makes survival possible.

We need each other, now more than ever. And we need to be unified in fighting this virus.

This is not the time for horrific discrimination against our Asian-American brothers and sisters who, while experiencing the same uncertainty and anxiety that we all feel about this virus, are also being victimized by hatred. Our leaders using racist, misleading rhetoric of “Chinese Virus” and “Kungflu” open the doors for further discrimination and has led to some hate crimes against our Asian-American neighbors.  It is up to all of us to deny the place of racism and hatred, especially right now.

This is not the time for the spread of antisemitism, a trend that historically always seems to rise in times of uncertainty. Vile, antisemitic conspiracy theories about the Jewish orchestration of COVID-19 or Jewish profiteering from this global public health crisis are running wild on social media, and it is up to all of us to deny the place of antisemitism, especially right now.

This is not the time for xenophobic hatred spewed towards immigrants and the Latinx community, or “I told you so”s about travel bans and hate-building walls. We are seeing the grotesque targeting of undocumented immigrants and the institution of immigration, as people throw blame around for this global pandemic. It is up to all of us to not oppress our immigrants and those who have sought safe asylum, especially now.

This time of uncertainty and anxiety is not the time for hateful extremists to find their messages mainstreamed, or any comfort whatsoever in mainstream narratives.

This is a time for unity.

This is a time for community.

This is a time for love.

As we all figure out life in this temporary new normal, physically isolated from our loved ones, our networks and our lives, this is a time when we need each other and we need love. We need to strongly and unequivocally deny hatred into our lives, and strongly and unequivocally reach out in unity so that we can fight this virus and the hate that it has brought to light collectively, stronger together.

Love, community, and hope keep us alive. Hatred, bigotry, and fear divide and conquer us.

It’s a question of humanity. It’s a question of morality and love. And it’s a question of survival.


Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO (Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials)

Allison Padilla-Goodman, Vice President Southern Division, ADL (Anti-Defamation League)


This article originally appeared on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The original article can be found here.


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March 20, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 275 civic leaders, non-profit organizations, elected officials, state and local groups Monday unveiled a watchdog coalition pledging to help monitor and protect the confidentiality of 2020 Census data.

The coalition, led by MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), The Leadership Conference Education Fund, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, will use their collective expertise, power, and influence to safeguard the strict census data confidentiality requirements, and to assure people that they should participate in the Census and secure resources important for their family and community without worry.

“Heightened distrust in elements of the federal government is a threat to our nation’s ability to secure an accurate Census, which is so critical to our democracy’s next decade,” said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel.  “This Census data confidentiality protection pledge provides reassurance to all – including hardworking Census Bureau staff themselves — that powerful forces outside of government are working together to protect data confidentiality and the integrity of Census 2020.”

Federal law requires the Census Bureau to protect any personal and household information it collects and bars it from sharing such information with any other government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, law enforcement, housing authorities, public benefit administrators, or other agencies for 72 years.

“Individual census responses are protected by some of the strictest confidentiality protections in federal law and, as advocates, we know how to help enforce them,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “This coalition of census watchdogs is using the best tools in our collective arsenal — our political influence, our legal expertise, and our dedication to vulnerable communities — to ensure people feel comfortable participating in the 2020 Census. We’ve done it before when we prevented the citizenship question from being added to the 2020 Census. Everyone should know that by law, your information can’t be used against you by ICE, law enforcement, landlords, or public benefits providers. The Census Bureau has a legal responsibility keep the personal data it collects confidential, which it takes very seriously. We are on watch to help ensure no one interferes with that obligation.”

Census data are crucial to allocating seats in Congress, drawing accurate election districts, and ensuring equitable distribution of federal funds for a wide range of vital programs including schools, hospitals, and other social services.

The coalition is working to boost responses among communities that have been historically undercounted by reassuring households that not only are the Census confidentiality protections in law the strongest in the nation, but that the coalition is poised to help enforce them so personal information remains protected from any potential threat of disclosure.

“We continue to hear concerns reverberating through communities of color, particularly the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities, about the confidentiality of their information when filling out the 2020 Census but we are here to provide reassurance,” said John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. “For a community that includes undocumented immigrants and individuals in mixed-status households, it is imperative to remind them about the legal protections that will protect their responses to the 2020 Census. We have had to fight for a fair and accurate census before and we will do it again if necessary.”

Children, undocumented immigrants, racial/ethnic minorities and people experiencing homelessness are among the least likely to be counted accurately due in large part to a distrust in government and risk losing their fair share of political power and resources.

“During WWII, the U.S. government used Census data to incarcerate 120,000 Japanese Americans. This was a shocking betrayal of the bureau’s pledge of confidentiality of Census data,” said actor and activist, George Takei whose family was interned during WWII. “This historic violation galvanized citizens who cherish justice and the integrity of the Census, resulting in the strongest, most robust confidentiality laws on our books. I am confident that this breakdown would never happen again.  I support this effort by civil rights groups to monitor and protect our private data and confidentiality in the 2020 Census. I have faith in this effort. I understand its importance to me, our community and to the vitality of our diverse nation. I encourage you to fill out the 2020 Census.”

The plan includes working with groups currently operating hotlines to answer any questions about the Census and reporting any issues related to census operations or potential breaches.

Some groups in the coalition have previously challenged the Trump administration’s efforts to unlawfully add a question to the decennial count.

In May 2018, MALDEF and Advancing Justice | AAJC sued the administration and, with others, successfully blocked it from adding a citizenship question to the Census.

The complete list of signatories can be found HERE and the pledge HERE.


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Election Day Must Remain on May 19th Declare Concerned Citizens and Voting Rights Advocates, Including GALEO



CONTACT: Adam Sweat, 678-951-2172


Election Day Must Remain on May 19th Declare Concerned Citizens and Voting Rights Advocates, Including GALEO


Friday, March 27, 2020 (Atlanta, GA) – Responding to House Speaker David Ralston’s request that Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger move the May 19 election until at least June 23, ProGeorgia and its affiliates issued the following statement:


“On March 14, 2020, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger made the wise decision to postpone voting in the March 24, 2020 presidential preference primary until May 19th in the interest of public health because of the emerging COVID-19 crisis.  Since that time, plans have been made by the Secretary of State and county election officials to move forward with the presidential preference primary, the local, county and Congressional primaries, and nonpartisan general elections on May 19th. In fact, vote by mail absentee ballots are already scheduled to be mailed out beginning on March 31 to voters who request them.


“We are unaware of any evidence establishing that the COVID-19 public health emergency will be over by June 23, 2020 or by any specific time frame this summer that would justify making yet another change in the election calendar. Delaying our primary again – or placing a moving target on elections – until this summer increases the risk that Georgia’s voters may not have their voices heard or their votes fully counted in enough time to participate in the Republican or Democratic National Conventions this summer.


“Moving the May 19th elections to June 23rd as suggested by Speaker Ralston should not be an option at this time because of the lack of evidence that the COVID-19 crisis will be resolved by that time and the substantial likelihood that another change in the election schedule will create confusion among voters and lead to reduced turnout.


 “Therefore, we are calling upon Secretary Raffensperger to proceed with the timely administration of our primary elections on May 19th and to ensure that integrity and transparency are maintained throughout this process.


About ProGeorgia

ProGeorgia is a bold, trusted, and diverse collaborative that champions an equitable and inclusive democracy, for and with traditionally underrepresented communities. ProGeorgia supports and coordinates the civic engagement programs of our diverse partner organizations, and develops the infrastructure, executes the joint strategies, and employs new tools and technology to assure a government that is more responsive to the needs of our constituencies.


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GALEO Announces Essay Contest Winners for the 13th Annual Cesar Chavez Day on March 31st

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 25th, 2020

(Atlanta, GA) GALEO is proud to recognize the winners for the 13th Annual Cesar Chavez Ceremony. Due the recent updates regarding coronavirus (COVID-19), the Cesar Chavez committee has made the decision to move our event from an in-person event to a virtual reading of the essays. We want to take steps to ensure that we honor the value that the Cesar Chavez Essay Contest holds while also ensuring the safety and health of all participating individuals. The winning essay entries will be recorded and released on Cesar Chavez Day (March 31st) and will be published on the GALEO website ( as well as GALEO’s social media pages (Facebook: and Instagram @galeo_pics).

The purpose of the ceremony is to honor civil rights legend, Cesar Chavez, and increase awareness of the continual plight of farm workers and their contributions to America. Chavez’s leadership was critical to organizing farm workers and founding what is today known as the United Farm Workers Union. He remains one of the foremost Latino leaders in American history. His birthday, March 31st, is officially recognized as a state holiday in California, Colorado, and Texas. GALEO supports the movement to create this date as a national holiday in honor of Mr. Chavez.

We are honored to announce the following winners of this years’ contest:

ESOL Category

1st place- Jihu Mun, Houston County High School, Warner Robins, GA


High School Category

1st place- Robert Herzfeld, The Westminster School, Atlanta, GA

2nd place- Colin Suddath, The Westminster School, Atlanta, GA

3rd place- Jack Scalise, The Westminster School, Marietta, GA


Adult Category

1st place- Irene Diaz-Bazan, Lawrenceville, GA

2nd place- Meitra Perry, Bremen, GA

3rd place- Brenda Duran, Lawrenceville, GA


Thank you to the GALEO Leadership Council Cesar Chavez Committee co-lead by Rebecca Pool and Kyle Murphy, as well as the full Cesar Chavez Committee for all of their support.

We also thank our prize sponsors for helping us reward our winners for this event. Adult and High School winners will be presented gift certificates (1st-$200; 2nd-$75; 3rd-$50).


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March 20th, 2020


It is with much regret that we inform you that our 17th Annual GALEO Power Breakfast scheduled for Friday, May 8th, has been cancelled due to the pandemic with COVID-19.

We appreciate your continued support for our organization. These are trying times in our community and we appreciate your steadfast support.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our Executive Director Jerry Gonzalez at

Thank you!


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Civil Rights Advocates Respond to Census Operational Changes in the Wake of COVID-19

March 18, 2020

Contact: Tamika Turner,  The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights,, 202.466.2061
Amanda Bosquez, NALEO Educational Fund,, 361.548.6989
Michelle Boykins, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC,,  202-.296.2300 x 144

WASHINGTON – The co-chairs of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ Census Task Force — Arturo Vargas, CEO of NALEO Educational Fund; John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC; and Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Census Bureau’s decision to suspend 2020 Census field operations until April 1, 2020:

Policy Statement from The Leadership Conference Census Task Force Co-Chairs: 

“We understand that the success of the 2020 Census is in peril given the current public health crisis and that the Census Bureau is making operational changes in response, including the suspension of field operations until April 1.  At the same time, state and congressional leaders, along with some organizations, have begun calling for the census response period to be ‘extended’ or ‘delayed,’ due to concerns about the potential impact of the health emergency on the count.

“There are numerous and difficult consequences to delaying census operations, and significant implications for data quality and the accuracy of the results. Moreover, because households can self-respond until July 31, it is too soon to know whether such action will be necessary. Accordingly, we have not yet taken the position on whether the Census Bureau should ‘extend’ the nonresponse follow-up (NRFU) and self-response period. We believe all stakeholders must fully consider the implications for data quality and census accuracy of extending operations, before urging such action. And we worry about the impact on self-response these early calls for an extension might have. We believe these issues must be fully discussed, understood and considered, by Congress in consultation with the Bureau, stakeholders, and experts.

“We support shifts in timing of certain operations.  The Census Bureau is adjusting strategies in real time, and we are working diligently to help inform these decisions. However, there is a difference between these types of shifts and proposals to ‘delay’ or ‘extend’ the census.  We urge the Census Bureau to be transparent with stakeholders, partners and Congress about where it is facing operational challenges, the changes it is making to its planned operations, and where it needs additional support (such as appropriations).  This will allow stakeholders and partners to respond appropriately and effectively to promote participation.

“The Census Bureau already has flexibility on extending the enumeration timeframe, which it had planned to conclude on July 31 under normal circumstances.  The self-response period (which is still in effect during NRFU) will provide the Census Bureau and stakeholders with information on how much additional time beyond July 31 may be needed.  However, the farther away from Census Day, April 1 (the reference date that is set in law), data are collected, the greater the impact on data quality and consistency, so these decisions must be made with consideration for the consequences.

“We encourage Congress to consult with the Bureau to see what resources it might need to expand the NRFU operation as soon as the Bureau can safely resume field operations. We are also urging Congress to closely monitor the progress of the census to determine if the Census Bureau will be able to meet the statutory deadlines of December 31, 2020 for the reporting of the final apportionment count, and April 1, 2021 for the transmission of the redistricting files to the states.  Congress may well need to consider adjustments to these deadlines once it has sufficient information on the status of the 2020 Census operations. This issue has deep and broad implications, primarily political and conceivably partisan. It must be approached carefully and knowledgeably for those reasons.

“The Census Bureau needs our support and cooperation at this time more than ever, just as much as we must continue to insist on a fair and accurate Census.”


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NALEO Educational Fund Responds to Census Bureau Suspending Field Operations

March 18, 2020
Kevin Perez-Allen,
(714) 499-4481
Marcus Silva,
(510) 456-5444
NALEO Educational Fund Responds to
Census Bureau Suspending Field OperationsAdhering to public health guidelines and achieving an accurate census are both possible

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund today released a statement from CEO Arturo Vargas on the Census Bureau’s decision to suspend its field operations amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation:

“NALEO Educational Fund supports the Census Bureau’s decision to suspend field operations for two weeks so that it can comply with public health directives.  We know the Bureau remains dedicated to conducting a full and accurate count of all residents, and we continue to support its efforts to fulfill that mission.

“The census is the foundation of our democracy – and the Bureau is tasked with the profound responsibility of protecting and successfully executing the process with which our country maintains that strength.“While there have been many calls from organizations and leaders for the Census Bureau to alter certain operations through delay or postponement, it is clear that the Bureau is closely monitoring the situation.  While it may be necessary for the Bureau to make future operational and timing changes like extending the self-response and nonresponse follow up phases, we must ensure that the public receives accurate and consistent information about the current status of the census.

“As the Census Bureau adapts to the public health crisis brought on by COVID-19, a large network of organizations and stakeholders, including NALEO Educational Fund, are doing our part to support the Bureau’s efforts to ensure a successful census.  Right now, the easiest way to make sure residents are counted is through self-response online, by phone, or by mail.  Emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic are precisely why our government needs accurate census data.  We must all do our part by making sure we self-respond and encourage others in our networks to do so as well.”
Residents can self-respond to the census online at or over the phone in English by dialing 844-330-2020 or in Spanish at 844-468-2020.Individuals with questions about the census can call NALEO Educational Fund’s toll-free national census bilingual hotline at 877-EL-CENSO (877-352-3676) – Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m. ET to get additional information.

About NALEO Educational Fund
NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.
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