The 2020 Census is About Letting People Know You Exist

“For many communities across the nation, especially people of color and those living in rural areas, the calculus is simple and dire: fill out the 2020 census or risk a historic undercount that could jeopardize everything from a share in $1.5 trillion in federal funding to political representation in Congress.”

A recent article in USA Today highlighted the August 6th Census Project stakeholder letter to Senate leaders urging a provision in the next coronavirus relief bill to delay the statutory reporting deadlines for census data:

“The census count isn’t just about political power, but it’s also a tool used by the private sector to decide where to put that next mall or store, real bread and butter stuff that determines where you might be able to shop or work locally,” says Howard Fienberg, co-director of the Census Project, the nation’s largest census advocacy group, which organized the letter sent to McConnell and Schumer. Fienberg notes that a big undercount is likely to impact rural areas that already face limited commercial and federal resources, places like Big Horn County, Montana, (population: 13,000), where 82% of the population currently is uncounted by the 2020 census, or Rich County, Utah (1,800), where 88% have yet to respond. “This is all about letting people know you exist,” he says.

– “2020 Census ’emergency’ threatens to leave out communities of color and rural Americans.” by Marco della Cava. USA TODAY. August 16, 2020.