...And why you could end up with more of it than you thought possible... "Unused power slips imperceptibly into the hands of another."- Konrad Heiden

If there was ever a time to consider the impact of money and power, this year has to be it! We are certainly experiencing some tough economic times. Many of us are reexamining our relationship with money and how we access it. Others are also thinking about the power structures that got us into this "economic mess" as we've heard some people say.

With that in mind, we find ourselves thinking that if money is scarce, power is beyond our grasp due to the fact that it's a commodity handled and traded in the halls of the Nation's Capitol. The Nation's Capital is filled with politicians and the wealthy, but lets not forget that every ten years something happens throughout the nation that redefines, recalculates, and recalibrates the power structure that redistributes wealth to communities, fill seats in the government, and the investment of the infrastructure for Americans, which leads us to the discussion of the US Census.

Yes, the Census is upon us once again, but the question remains... will Americans exert their Constitutional rights to be counted? Some will, but others simply won't. Why is that and what are we missing here? When asked the most important reason for people to participate and be counted, Arturo Vargas, Executive Director of the NALEO Educational Fund (www.naleo.org), the lead Hispanic organization for Census Hispanic outreach (yaeshora.info); had this to say, "The Census is about two simple things: Power and Money. In this country we give it away based on numbers. So if you are counted that means your community gets its share of power and its share of money. This is critical so that we, as a community, can continue to move forward...see progress."

You may have seen the Census ad that ran during the Super Bowl, placed in magazine ads, seen on television commercials, viewed on postcards, and notices received by mail, alerting you that "It's Coming..." the 2010 Census Questionnaire. I don't know how else to say it folks, other than to borrow from the well known swoosh brand, and urge you to "Just Do It". If anything, your children and your community will benefit and may have a voice, but if you're still unsure, or just can't be bothered, please remember the words of Malcolm X, "Power never takes a back step-only in the face of more power."

Now that's a truth! Even the President will be unable to ignore this issue, because he has the immigration reform which he promised "as a priority" during his campaign, which is now by the way on the indefinite backburner. Guacha, que a nosotros no se nos ha olvidado, Senor Presidente... In the end, there's nothing more 'encouraging' than a pissed off constituency that promises to be counted-this time. Pass me the questionnaire, por favor. -LR

Fred Sotelo is a social entrepreneur, speaker, Latino market expert and activist based in Southern California. Sotelo@toltecmedia.net. Linda Caballero-Sotelo is a freelance writer, speaker, and media contributor based in San Diego. She may be reached at Lsotelo@toltecmedia.net.