Rep. Yvette D. Clarke Introduces the Caribbean Count Bill
Rep. Yvette D. Clarke introduced H.R. 2071, the “Caribbean Count Bill” (H.R. 2071), a historic bill that calls for Caribbean nationals to have their own origin checkbox on the U.S. Census form. It calls for all questionnaires used in the taking of any decennial census of the U.S. population, include a checkbox or other similar option be included so respondents may indicate Caribbean extraction or descent.
“Every household in the country will receive a census questionnaire in 2010 and now is the time to stand up and be counted.” said Rep. Clarke. “We want to ensure an accurate and fair count of all populations, at all geographic levels in the nation, so I am encouraging everyone to fill out the entire form and send it in. By completing your questionnaire you are providing data that will help your nation, your state and your community make major decisions over the next 10 years.”
The bill has been supported by CaribID, a movement to get Caribbean nationals counted and their own origins category listed in the census. President and Founder of CaribID Felicia Persaud said, “This is truly an extraordinary step by our own Caribbean-American Congresswoman, who truly understands the struggles of the Caribbean community across the U.S., which continues to be dismissed simply because we have no means of accurately counting our bloc.”
“Respect comes from census numbers and until you are truly recognized and accurately counted by the U.S. Census, the growth of this vibrant group and its potential will never be truly realized. We see this as the first step in the battle to get this category, but one that is truly significant.” Persaud concluded.
Ann Walters, Director of CaribID for Washington, D.C., added “Having this bill introduced by Congresswoman Clarke is putting us in the right direction for changes for the next census. Caribbean nationals can now feel they are part of the process.” said Walters. “We must also mobilize around the census and realize the importance of our community being counted accurately as a bloc.”
The bill will be referred to the Government Reform Committee.