Census Bureau to woo wary Latinos with song

In light of generalized fear of census authorities on the part of Latinos and a proposed Latino boycott of the 2010 census, the U.S. Census Bureau has been exploring ways to ensure participation within the national Latino community.

Census-taking is scheduled to begin in April, which means the Regional Bureau has six months to convince Colorado Latinos to stand up and be counted. How best to approach them? Thursday, the Bureau said it will try to serenade them, of course!

The Pueblo Chieftan:

Every effort will be made… to increase Hispanic participation in the undertaking, including a musical approach to Spanish speakers.

Veronica Arzate De Reyes, a media specialist with the Albuquerque Census Bureau office, played two Spanish-language corridos, songs that tell stories in the Mexican folkloric tradition, that encourage trust in the census.

Corridos are an interactive song or ballad originating from Mexico and dating to the 1800s,” Reyes said. “These stories will really connect with Latinos.

“One was written by Arizona students and the other by an Albuquerque musician named John Hernandez.”

According to the Chieftan, officials emphasized that, under federal law, sharing census information is punishable by a $125,000 fine and five years in jail. They also noted that there are no questions about citizenship on the census form.

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