As you know, last month, the Department of Commerce abandoned its request to Congress to push back the 2020 Census statutory reporting deadlines, forcing the Census Bureau to rush through remaining counting operations and curtail vital quality check and data processing activities—even though the national self-response rate at the start of the door knocking operation was the lowest ever, and the number of homes to visit in person the highest ever. Census stakeholders, nationwide, expressed alarm as indicated by the over 900 national, state, and local organizations that signed an August 6 letter organized by The Census Project to leaders in the U.S. Senate, urging that chamber to include language in its next COVID relief measure that would extend the 2020 Census statutory deadlines for delivering apportionment and redistricting data. (The U.S. House of Representatives already included this language in its last COVID relief package, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R. 6800)). Without congressional action, the Administration will be allowed to pursue its plan to rush completion of the 2020 Census—including curtailing quality assurance and data processing activities—and deliver flawed apportionment data by the end of the year.
Now, there is a window to push House and Senate leadership to prioritize including an extension of the statutory data reporting deadlines in upcoming legislation and to encourage Senators to support that effort. If your organization supports this effort, then please consider participating in efforts leading census stakeholder organizations are conducting currently—especially via social media!
It’s time to make some noise. TELL CONGRESS: SAVE THE CENSUS. (#SavetheCensus #DontRushtheCensus)
HERE’S HOW TO TAKE ACTION
- Speak Out
- Send a press release or pitch an oped calling on Congress to act (Talking Points on the Census Extension, Federal programs funded using census data, State Fact Sheets)
- Post on Social Media (Graphics, Patch Through Call Number: 1-888-374-4269 to promote and call scripts)
- Email your members or networks (Talking Points on why the census matters, , Patch Through Call Number: 1-888-374-4269 to Promote, Code to Create Click to Call Button)
- Share Insights Association grassroots alert to contact members of Congress directly to encourage support for extending the 2020 Census. https://www.votervoice.net/Insights/campaigns/76750/respond
- Incorporate the census extension into your field, text and phone outreach (SMS and Phone Scripts, Leadership Conference Petition)
HERE’S WHAT TO KNOW
- The public health crisis caused significant delays and disruptions to 2020 Census operations.
- That’s why the administration, alongside experts within the Census Bureau, asked Congress to push back the December 31, 2020 deadline for transmitting the state population totals used for congressional apportionment to the president, to April 30, 2021.
- In a bid to control how congressional apportionment is calculated, the Trump administration has abandoned its original request that Congress grant the bureau a reporting extension and is forcing the Census Bureau to cut the census short by one month.
- Without quick congressional action, the Census Bureau faces an impossible deadline of December 31, 2020 to count, review, process, tabulate, and report 2020 Census apportionment and redistricting data.
- Rural and tribal communities, people of color, and people with disabilities, and more have been hit hard by this pandemic. Their self-response rates are already low and many will be erased altogether if the Census Bureau doesn’t have the time it needs to count them.
- Rushing the count guarantees millions of people will remain uncounted, skewing congressional representation, redistricting, and critical community funding for every state in the country for the next 10 years.
- Congress needs to act before it’s too late. People in this country need lasting COVID-19 relief and that bill needs to give the Census Bureau the time and flexibility it needs to complete the 2020 Census.
- One pager on census extension — https://www.insightsassociation.org/legal-article/don%E2%80%99t-rush-2020-census
- The Census Project sign on letter — https://censusproject.files.wordpress.com/2020/08/finalcensus-project-sign-on-letter-re-census-extension-in-senate-relief-8-6-20-1.pdf
- Business Community letter — https://censusproject.files.wordpress.com/2020/08/biz-letter-2020-census-deadlines-8-11-20.pdf
Thank you for considering this opportunity to #SavetheCensus!