PALCUS Launches 'Make Portuguese Count' Campaign

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - WASHINGTON - Oct 15, 2018 - The Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States (PALCUS) has revealed the logo that will be used for the national campaign calling all Portuguese-Americans to be counted in the upcoming 2020 Census. PALCUS is calling on all Portuguese organizations across the country to join the campaign to help reach every resident of Portuguese heritage. Their role will be to encourage participation in the Census and to provide education around how to fill out the Census form in order to be counted as Portuguese.

The red, white and blue patriotic design, featuring the tagline “Make Portuguese Count” that emphasizes PORTUGUESE in solid capital letters, will be used on all communications to capture attention and to brand a singular appeal to the community up to and beyond the first day of the Census on April 1, 2020.

PALCUS is working with the US Census Bureau through Partnership Specialist, Ronald E.Brown, to create the Bureau’s first National Complete Count Committee. All other Complete Count Committees are regional or municipal but PALCUS is the first to establish one nationally in the history of the Bureau.

The U.S. Census Bureau is happy to announce the first National Complete Count Committee with the Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States. We will be working together in ensuring that every Portuguese-American is counted in 2020 by maximizing PALCUS’ nationwide reach. I thank PALCUS for the great work they do in promoting the participation of the Portuguese-American community in the 2020 Census.

Dr. Ron Jarmin

Acting Director of the U.S. Census

“The U.S. Census Bureau is happy to announce the first National Complete Count Committee with the Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States,” said Acting Director of the U.S. Census, Dr. Ron Jarmin. “We will be working together in ensuring that every Portuguese-American is counted in 2020 by maximizing PALCUS’ nationwide reach. I thank PALCUS for the great work they do in promoting the participation of the Portuguese-American community in the 2020 Census.”

PALCUS is undertaking this project to ensure that all Portuguese-Americans are aware of how to answer Question #7: Race/Origin on the 2020 questionnaire. On the proposed question, the respondent first checks off the race with which they identify but under that selection, write in “Portuguese” in the space provided in order to be counted as Portuguese.

In the last census in 2010, 1.34 million residents self-identified as claiming Portuguese ancestry but that number may be underestimating the Portuguese-American population. Most Portuguese-Americans did not know to check “Other” for race and to write in Portuguese under the race question and might have missed the ancestry question. PALCUS has been working with the Census Bureau for more than 10 years to establish “Portuguese” as a standalone option under the Race/Ethnic origin category to avoid identification as Hispanic. Amid rumors that this was an option, PALCUS facilitated a nationwide survey of the community to gauge how this would be received by Portuguese-Americans. The results of the survey, conducted in 2013, revealed overwhelmingly that Portuguese-Americans who responded were not in favor of identifying as Hispanic in the absence of a Portuguese option. The Bureau’s solution for 2020 is to capture both race and ethnic origin of all those living in the United States by offering an option to “write in your origin.” The task now is to raise awareness of this opportunity and to mobilize all members of the community to participate by answering Question #7 as they wish to identify themselves.

PALCUS already has experience in this process since it participated in the 2018 End-to-End U.S. Census Test in Providence County through PALCUS Managing Director, Marie Fraley. During the campaign, the Portuguese-American community in Rhode Island was engaged through print, broadcast and social media outreach, visits and bilingual communication to encourage participation in the 2018 test.  This template will serve PALCUS in putting the national campaign into action.

Why Is this so important? When PALCUS can show legislators the strength of Portuguese-Americans in their districts, a stronger case can be made to ensure that the Portuguese-American voice needs to be heard and concerns addressed. In addition, the census numbers determine funding for community services, the number of congressional districts in a state and the boundaries of those districts.

“This campaign is one of the most important initiatives that PALCUS has ever embarked upon, and it will have a significant impact on our national Portuguese community,” said Angela Costa Simoes, Chair of the PALCUS Board of Directors. “We will need the participation of every Portuguese club, organization, school, dance group, and business as we aim to reach every Portuguese-American in the country. So I call on every Portuguese organization to join us in helping to raise awareness and educating our community about the Census. We will provide flyers, informational pamphlets, host webinars and events, that will be available for everyone to use. We will be contacting all organizations individually, but we also encourage them to proactively reach out to us and join us as we Make Portuguese Count!”

PROMOTIONAL VIDEO: PALCUS presented the attached promotional video at its 22nd Annual Leadership Awards Gala. View here and please use with PALCUS’ permission: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn4k7KmcXfI

UPDATES: PALCUS will be sending regular updates on the progress of the project with key dates and deadlines.

CALL TO ACTION: Organizations are encouraged to contact PALCUS as soon as possible to join the database of participants. Please call or write: Gracielle Camilo, Email: palcus@palcus.org or Phone: 202-466-4664 to register your organization.

Source : PALCUS

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