The Origin

In the Spring of 2017, Rosemary Rodriguez became alarmed while a panelist for a Colorado Social Legislation Committee brown bag luncheon.  As a local school board member, she was invited to comment on issues facing immigrant and refugee families in response to increased anti-immigrant and anti-refugee policies being enacted at the national level. 

After listening to a presentation from Hunger-Free Colorado, she learned of anecdotal accounts of families who were eligible for benefits but asking to be stricken from the program because reportedly, “they didn’t want to be on any government lists.”  Rosemary, who has a background in federal, state, and local government as well as participating in census counts since 1990, immediately surmised that the 2020 Census could be affected by lack of participation from households that “didn’t want to be on any government lists.” She immediately realized that the attitude could be more prevalent than she imagined, and began to research for ways to address her concern. This led to her founding Together We Count, a short term project solely focused on census outreach to hard-to-count communities.