Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its opinion on cases challenging Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. For now, they have blocked the question from appearing on the Census. The decision is an important victory for our communities and a key step to ensuring the integrity of the Census.
In their decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the administration did not provide a real justification for adding the question. Let’s be clear. The Trump administration’s attempt to add an untested and dangerous citizenship question to the 2020 Census was always about stoking fear in communities of color and immigrants to suppress an accurate Census count—putting billions of dollars for our communities at risk. Accurate counts from the 2020 Census will decide funding for programs like Medicaid, food assistance programs and Head Start.
As we celebrate this victory on the citizenship question, the fight continues. From underfunding the Census to hiring fewer Census takers to not adequately testing the new online tools, this administration has had a clear agenda to undercut the Census so that it’s not successful. Efforts to undermine the Census will be felt the most by hard to count communities. Hard to Count populations include young children, people of color, non-English speakers, undocumented immigrants, rural and low-income families, and the LGBTQ community. If the Census misses millions of our friends, family, and neighbors, we will end up with a far less accurate count.
The impact of a less accurate Census is potentially devastating for our communities. Whether it’s the $800 billion in federal funding that is allocated using Census data, or how Census data is used to help states draw district lines in 2021 or apportion Congressional seats—Census data is at the heart of so many decisions that are vital for our families.
Pledge to take the Census
Our families’ access to resources—from well-funded schools, to healthcare programs like Medicaid, to food assistance programs—rely on us participating in the 2020 Census. It is critical that we commit to participating in the Census. Join us in showing this administration that we will not be intimidated, and we will fight to ensure all our families are counted.
If you sign up, Forward Together will be sending important information about being counted in the 2020 Census.
Forward Together National Field and Policy Director