About 150 Census Project stakeholders co-signed a letter to Congressional policymakers urging them to add more funding to the Trump administration’s FY2019 requests for the 2020 Census.
“We respectfully recommend that the committee allocate $4.735 billion for the Census Bureau in FY2019 —$933.50 million above the Administration’s request for the agency, and $912.5 million above the request of $3.015 billion for the 2020 Census,” the letter said.
Describing FY2019 as “a critical year on the path toward the decennial census” the co-signature letter said the FY2019 ramp-up must include additional funding for more partnership specialists to encourage participation by hard-to-count communities, increased advertising/communications funds, additional local census offices and questionnaire assistance centers. The Census Project letter also called for a $300 million contingency fund “in the event of IT failures or natural disasters, including hurricanes and wildfires.”
Included in the administration original request is funding in FY2019 for:
- completing all address canvassing operations;
- opening Area Census Offices across the country;
- finalizing IT systems readiness and security;
- recruiting and hiring approximately 76,000 personnel for “in field” address canvassing this Summer/Fall;
- launching the first phase of the communications campaign and making initial advertising buys; and
- developing the Census 2020 website.
Congressional action on the FY2019 is expected to begin in May.