The Census is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to ensure our community’s most vulnerable populations are counted and vital government services are fully funded. By filling out the questionnaire, everyone who lives in our community shapes the funding we receive for things like affordable housing, parks and roads, healthcare, food programs, emergency response personnel, schools and daycare centers, and so much more. More than just funding, the Census allows each of us to declare we count and matter. To celebrate the Census and the impact it has in our lives, we are sharing the stories of our Native Census Ambassadors and how Census-funded-programs have shaped their lives. To fill out your 2020 Census go to my2020census.gov.
My name is Nohely Diaz, and I’m currently attending California State University, Sacramento. I’m proud of my Native/Indigenous roots hailing from the Tepehuan tribe from Durango, Mexico and the Muisca people from Colombia.
Much of the passion that I have directed towards helping with the Census for 2020 is based on improving our health care system. Growing up in a low-income household, there were various difficulties my family had to endure in order to not only be covered by health insurance, but for us to be seen in places that had the appropriate amount of resources, supplies, and care providers. One of the places I was able to receive medical care from as a child was through the Sacramento Native American Health Center.
Access to medical services is an issue that many low-income households face across the country, and this especially rings true for many Native Americans. Sacramento County is in fact ranked at the 8th most difficult county to count within all of California, especially among minorities. Quite often, Native American numbers are not accurately recorded or accessible, making it even harder for Native Americans to be accounted for and for their needs to be assessed.
By filling out the Census, we have the opportunity to better the lives of our people, whether it is our elderly, our younger population, our youth, or the ones yet to come in time for the next Census in the next decade.