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For Immediate Release:
Contact: Mario H. Lopez

Los Angeles Leaders Praise Community-based Programs and Local Commitment

LOS ANGELES- The members of the bipartisan U.S. Census Monitoring Board today heard local officials and community leaders detail their efforts to ensure greater census participation among the large and diverse population of the Los Angeles area.  Their comments came during a public hearing held by the Board to gather information on innovative programs and activities that improved the local census count.

Testimony from the Los Angeles hearing will be used in a future report to Congress by the Board, which was established by Congress in 1997 to monitor the preparation and implementation of the 2000 decennial census.  The Board is comprised of eight members- four appointed by Congress and four by the President.  The hearing was held at the Town & Garden Hall on the campus of the University of Southern California.  It featured presentations by a variety of officials representing local governments and community- based organization involved in Census 2000 activities in the Los Angeles area.

"Los Angeles provides an excellent example of local officials and community leaders working together to meet the challenges of counting a large and diverse population," said J. Kenneth Blackwell, Co-Chair for the Congressional Members of the Board.  "The innovative programs and activities you implemented can serve as a model for other communities throughout the country for the next census."

"These hearings affirm the importance of community partnerships to a successful census effort," said Gilbert F. Casellas, Co-Chair for the Presidential members of the Board.  "Both the state of California and the local communities in Los Angeles made firm commitments to a successful census, and their efforts appear to have paid off."

"We applaud the work of the numerous community-based organizations, educators, social service providers and others who helped Los Angeles achieve one of the best census results in the country," said California Lieutenant Governor Cruz M. Bustamante, a Presidential Member of the Board.

Those making presentations at Monday`s hearings included: the Honorable James Hahn, Los Angeles City Attorney; John Reeder, Regional Director, Los Angeles Region, Bureau of the Census; Jan Perry, Executive Director of the Los Angeles 2000 Outreach Project, which co-hosted the Board meeting; Lari Sheehan, Chairperson, County of Los Angeles Complete Count Committee; John Mack, President, Los Angeles Urban League; Noelle Minto, Office of the Honorable Gloria Molina, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Other presenters included:  Antonia Hernandez, President and General Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund; John Humphrey, Census 2000 Coordinator, City of Long Beach; Natalie Profant Komuro, Planning Manager, Los Angeles County Homeless Services Authority; Jessica Heinz, Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney; and Bonnie Tang, Staff Attorney and Project Director, Asian Pacific American Legal Center.