Last week, the Supreme Court ruled in Department of Commerce v. New York that a citizenship question in the U.S. Census report must be suspended for 2020. In a key part of the decision, the Court rejected the notion that the purpose of a citizenship question was to improve enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.
While we are relieved that the question will not appear in the Census questionnaire, there is still much work to be done. Will you tell your elected officials that we must be counted?
The Census is constitutionally required to count every person living in the United States. And that mission is still at risk—if the Census doesn’t get proper funding and manpower, or if the Department of Commerce is successful in coming up with a new cover story to add back the intimidating citizenship question.
If either happens, we risk a severe “undercount”—cutting millions out of political representation and jeopardizing the very foundation of our democracy. The 2020 Census will shape our nation’s government, public policy, and budgets for an entire decade. The data we gather determines everything from congressional district maps to local resource allocation—like school funding, the number of firehouses in our neighborhoods, and highway and road repair budgets.
We must ensure that a full and complete Census is conducted. Will you add your name and tell lawmakers in your state to make sure the 2020 Census is conducted fairly and is fully funded?
The 2020 Census will begin on April 1 and will aim to count every individual living in the United States. The data gathered will be the launching pad for the 2021 redistricting cycle, when state legislatures will begin designing redistricting plans for the next decade.
The interdependency of the Census, state reapportionment, redistricting, and elections cannot be minimized—and we will be working overtime in the coming months to ensure the most complete possible Census count, with a focus on hard-to-count communities.
We must make sure everyone is counted and the Census is fully funded. Tell your legislators to ensure everyone is counted.