2020-Census Census data is used to establish the guidelines for federal affirmative action plans.
Image via Associated Press

A top Democrat denounces the move as an effort by Trump to politicize the statistical agency. Here’s why the Census is important for Latinos.

FLORIDA — In a news release Tuesday, the Census Bureau, the federal government’s largest statistical agency, announced that Nathaniel Cogley, a political science professor at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, was named a deputy director for policy. 

According to the bureau, In April, Cogley started working as a senior advisor in the Office of the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

RELATED: UPDATED: Census 2020: Why It Will Affect Latino Communities

Adam Korzeniewski, who has done census fieldwork and is a Marine veteran, was picked as a senior adviser to the deputy director for policy. A New Yorker story last year described Korzeniewski as a campaign consultant to Joey Saladino, a pro-Trump YouTube star better known as “Joey Salads,” who ended a congressional campaign in December. Starting in April, Korzeniewski was named an advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Commerce, the bureau said.

U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, called the men “starkly partisan allies” and said their hiring was an attempt by President Donald Trump to politicize the agency after its failed attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The Census Bureau currently is halfway through conducting the once-a-decade count of every U.S. resident.

RELATED: Why the Census Really Matters

“The decision to create two new senior positions at the Census Bureau and fill them with political operatives is yet another unprecedented attempt by the Trump Administration to politicize the 2020 Census,” Maloney said in a statement.

Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham said that the men would help the bureau complete the census, which helps determine $1.5 trillion in federal spending and how many congressional seats each state gets. The bureau didn’t comment further.

Census Impacts Latinos

Census data is used to establish the guidelines for federal affirmative action plans under the Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program, allocate funds to school districts for bilingual services under the Bilingual Education Act, and monitor compliance with the Voting Rights Act and enforce bilingual election requirements, among other services important to Latino and other minority communities.

“All our services –from lunches for senior citizens to educational opportunities and healthcare– are based on the census,” Heriberto Sosa, Director of Unity Coalition/Coalición Unida, an organization founded in 2002 to advance equality through education, leadership, and awareness, told The Americano. “So if we are not counted, we are taking away from our communities.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this story.