10/20 Press Conference: Leading Civil Rights Groups Join NDN to Oppose Divisive Vitter-Bennett Amendment

Tomorrow: Tuesday, October 20th at 11 am in Dirksen 406, the nation's leading civil rights groups will join NDN for a press conference on Capitol Hill to announce their opposition to the divisive Vitter-Bennett Amendment aimed at undermining the 2010 Census. The Amendment, proposed by Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Robert Bennett (R-UT), seeks to add an 11th question to the census forms (which have already been printed) that would discourage minority populations from participating in the census and thus threaten the accuracy of the count.

In his letter to Senators urging them to vote "no" on the proposed Amendment, NDN President Simon Rosenberg wrote, 

While the  Vitter-Bennett Amendment may appear innocent, its intent and practical effect on the  census and reapportionment process is not. If enacted the Amendment would almost certainly disrupt an orderly census count next year, eventually found to be unconstitutional, all the while start ing a highly divisive  conversation about race, the Civil War and the 14th Amendment in the  very first year of America's very first African-American President.

NDN joins the following organizations in denouncing the harmful Vitter-Bennett Amendment:

AAJC—Terry Ao, Director of the Census and Voting Programs
CAP – Angie Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy & Advocacy
Demos – Tova Wang, Senior Fellow
HNBA – Liz Lopez, Vice President for External Affairs
LCCR – Wade Henderson, President
LDF – Kristen Clarke, Co-Director Political Participation Project
LULAC – Brent Wilkes, Executive Director
MALDEF – Claudine Karasik, Legislative Staff Attorney
NALEO – Gloria Montano Greene, Director, Washington, DC Office
PFAW – Marge Baker, Executive Vice President for Policy and Program

For more information on the census, reapportionment, and this dangerous Amendment, check out NDN's backgrounder on the issue.