On February 7, The Census Project, at the invitation of the House Census Caucus, sponsored a briefing to inform new and returning congressional staff members about key census funding, policy, and planning issues facing the 116th Congress. The event was standing-room only with about 90 House and Senate staff members in attendance.
Mr. Ed Pagano, Akin Gump, and former Chief of Staff to Senator Patrick Leahy, Ranking Member, Senate Appropriations Committee, discussed the unique nature of the decennial census funding cycle and the major 2020 Census activities that the Census Bureau will be conducting in fiscal years 2019 and 2020. Ms. Corrine Yu, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Ms. Terry Ao Minnis, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, provided an overview of major policy issues, including the evolution and potential implications of the proposed citizenship question, undercount threats for young children, rural areas, and communities of color, and information technology challenges specific to the nation’s first “digital” census. Mr. Steve Jost, Subject Matter, and former Associate Director of Communications, U.S. Census Bureau, discussed the intricacies of the decennial census communications plan and reviewed resources that are available to help congressional offices promote participation in the 2020 Census and assist their constituents.
In addition to the briefing, earlier in the week, Census Project members participated in over 20 meetings with freshmen House offices, informing staff about a wide range of census-related funding and policy issues.
The speakers’ slides are posted here: