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Federal Judge Extends Census Deadline, Barrio Logan Organizers Vow To Keep Pressure On

Census organizers outside of tailor shop Sew Loka in Barrio Logan on September 25th, 2020.
Matthew Bowler
Census organizers outside of tailor shop Sew Loka in Barrio Logan on September 25th, 2020.

A federal judge in San Francisco has ruled the census count must continue until the end of October, blocking the Trump administration's efforts to end it next week. The federal government is already appealing.

While the legal fight goes on, community groups in San Diego are still counting. On Friday, census in organizers in Barrio Logan teamed up with local tailor shop Sew Loka to hand out $5 gift cards to anyone completing the census in the neighborhood.

“If we don’t do anything to register to vote or the census, it really affects neighborhoods like ours,” said Claudia Rodriguez-Biezunski, the owner of Sew Loka. “If we don’t get counted, there aren’t any resources for there to be distributed to a community like this. A community like Barrio Logan, which is mainly working class, there are people that need those resources.”

RELATED: For Latinos Ineligible To Vote, US Census Offers Path To Political Power

Video: Federal Judge Extends Census Deadline, But Barrio Logan Organizers Vow To Keep Pressure On

Right now, Barrio Logan stands below its final 2010 self-response rate, meaning these extra weeks will prove vital. Creative efforts that get organizers out into the community, even during a pandemic, will help push them over the top, said Natasha Salgado, community engagement coordinator at Logan Heights Community Development Corporation.

“We’ve been doing a lot of canvassing efforts in the neighborhood that consists of just walking door-to-door, dropping off door-hangers or even just providing iPads to residents to just complete the census,” she said.

An extra month doesn’t mean less urgency for an accurate count, especially considering the economic impact of the pandemic.

“Really there’s a lot at stake," Salgado said. "In more ways than there has ever been in the neighborhood. Simply because many of our residents, and small businesses deserve better and deserve more.”

With the Trump administration now appealing the federal court’s ruling, census organizers could still run out of time at any moment.