The Census Project is producing a toolkit for grassroots activists who want to educate their own policymakers about the importance of the 2020 Census and the American Community Survey (ACS). The toolkit will be available on the Census Project website concurrent with a webinar in early March 2016.
Welcome to The Census Project website. The Census Project is a broad-based network of national, state, and local organizations that supports a fair and accurate 2020 Census and comprehensive American Community Survey (ACS — the modern version of the census “long form”). Our participating stakeholders represent a diverse range of American sectors that rely on objective data for decision-making and promote civic engagement: business and industry; civil rights advocates; state and local governments; social service agencies; researchers and scientific associations; planners; foundations; and nonprofits focused on housing, child and family welfare, education, transportation, and other vital services.
The Census Project encourages Congress and the Administration to fund all phases of the next decennial census and the ongoing ACS, to ensure that timely, accurate, and reliable socio-economic and demographic data are collected and disseminated broadly to support informed decision-making in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Congress has directed the Census Bureau to spend no more on the 2020 Census than it did on the 2010 Census. The bureau is pursuing sweeping design reforms to meet that goal and modernize census operations, but it needs steady investment in research, testing, and systems development to ensure that its proposals will work.
We also support maintaining the ACS as a mandatory survey, to preserve the availability of reliable, irreplaceable data for all communities, including rural areas, neighborhoods, American Indian reservations and Alaska Native villages, and small populations groups (such as people with disabilities, veterans, and national origin subgroups). The U.S. House of Representatives has voted several times, through amendments to the Census Bureau’s annual appropriations bill, to make the ACS a voluntary survey, and once to eliminate the ACS entirely. Census Project stakeholders were instrumental in convincing Congress, ultimately, to drop these ill-advised proposals.
The Census Project’s activities include letters to Congress and the Administration; congressional briefings; fact sheets; press briefings; testimony at congressional hearings; blog posts; and regular updates to our national network of stakeholders. We keep stakeholders, the public, and the media informed about key policy and operational developments related to the 2020 Census and ACS, including important research, testing, and development milestones. The Census Project also has prepared a Toolkit (scheduled for release in March 2016) that will help state and local stakeholders educate their elected representatives about the importance of census and ACS data to their communities.
Despite our successes, we know that many challenges remain. Therefore, The Census Project will continue to support public and media education campaigns that highlight the importance of investing in 2020 Census planning and operations and maintaining a robust ACS.