Billboard campaign motivates East LA residents to complete census

A census campaign is using billboards as a visual empowerment to encourage East LA area resident to fill out the census.
BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A census billboard campaign was launched in the East Los Angeles area to encourage the community to fill it out.

The new billboards are sharing a message of inclusivity through visual empowerment with unique artwork.

"Communities of color are the most undercounted in the census. So we want it to be part of the campaign to empower, encourage and provide factual information," said Marvella Muro, a director at Self Help Graphics & Art.

The project, an extension of the 'We Count LA' Census campaign, is in partnership with Self Help Graphics & Art, a community arts organization that features local artists from diverse backgrounds and their work.

"I really culturally identify with NELA (North East Los Angeles), and also being a refugee slash immigrant, we have a lot of stigma and fear about documentation and government," said Phung Huynh, an artist who participated in the campaign. "And just being an advocate for immigrant communities, I feel like it's really important for us to be counted and be visible in the Census."

Three local artists participated in the campaign and based their art on real people who are reflective of the community.

"My son ... he's mixed race. He's Chicano, he's Jewish. He's Cambodian and Chinese. And I feel people who are mixed race don't always know what box to check in the census. So I wanted to represent those folks as well," said Huynh.
April Bey and Martha Carillo are the other two artists who featured their work in the campaign.

"I'm showing the fist with a pencil that says 'Census 2020', the rainbows coming out as a pencil. And that for me is all inclusive, inclusivity in the community coming together," said Carillo.

As a part of the campaign, a total of 10 billboards will be installed in the areas of Boyle Heights, East LA and Northeast LA.

"The Census is the opportunity for everyone's voice to be heard. Even because the elections are coming up and you know, many people are excluded there," said Muro.

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