NPR recently reported that the Census Bureau will cut its door-knocking and self response period a month short (ending September 30), a change which we know will lead to an undercount, particularly of people of color, rural folks, people experiencing homelessness, and other groups the census has historically missed. This means that these communities will miss out on critical resources and political representation (congressional seats, electoral college votes, and representation for redistricting) for the next 10 years.
“The end result would be [overrepresentation] for the White non-Hispanic population and greater undercounts for all other populations including the traditionally hard-to-count.” -Former Census Bureau Director John Thompson
This proposal comes just a couple weeks after Trump’s announcement that he wants to exclude undocumented folks from Congressional reapportionment that comes from the Census count. All people, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, are counted. Undocumented folks live here, so the money and congressional representation our communities receive should reflect our ENTIRE population.
Rushing Census operations will result in unfinished results that do not accurately represent our country’s makeup and will skew political power away from people of color and other marginalized groups. Now, we need to make sure Congress votes to stop these harmful attacks on the Census.
What you can do now:
We need to pressure Congress to extend these deadlines for apportionment and redistricting in the next COVID relief bill. Call your Senators (Michael Bennet: 303-455-7600 and Cory Gardner: 303-391-5777) and tell them to:
- Vote to extend the statutory deadlines for reporting apportionment and redistricting data from the 2020 Census.
- Allocate $400 Million to address continued 2020 Census challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
This political influence in Census operations will guarantee an unfinished count. Congress must act to keep the Census accurate and representative of all who live in this country.