Senators Appeal to Leadership for Additional 2020 Census Funding

A group of Senators, led by Sen. Brian Schatz (D), have written to Senate leadership requesting “additional funding for the Census Bureau” to specifically “address the operational changes to the 2020 Census in response to the current public health crisis.”

The May 8, 2020 letter acknowledged the need to work on the delays in statutory deadlines sought by the Administration, but said that “it must be paired with additional funding for the Census Bureau to ensure that every person is counted. The extension is expected to cost an estimated $1.5 billion.”

The additional funding the Senators recommended “should be used specifically on:

  • Personal protective equipment for census field workers, call center staff, and other employees;
  • Additional mailings to households that have not self-responded;
  • Targeted outreach to hard-to-count communities;
  • Targeted outreach to the location of the 2018 End-to-End Census Test;
  • Special operations to hand-deliver census packets in rural and remote communities, on American Indian reservations, in areas recovering from natural disasters, in Alaska, and in Puerto Rico;
  • Enumerating people experiencing homelessness;
  • Increased in-language outreach and assistance to supplement 2020 Census partners in non-English speaking communities;
  • Changes in Census Bureau’s communications plan, including advertisement and social media;
  • An increase in the number of call center staff to address higher volumes of self-responses by phone; and
  • Facilitating internet access in low self-response neighborhoods.”

Read the full letter.

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