2020 Census Milestones

The Funders Census Initiative, with the assistance of our colleague Terri Ann Lowenthal, has developed a census milestone fact sheet detailing the various 2020 Census activities ranging from the opening of local census offices around the country, to the beginning of the advertising campaign and the initiation of actual enumeration activities for the next decennial census.

Citizenship Suit Heads to Judge for Decision

An article appearing in the Sunday edition of The New York Times Magazine details the just concluded trial in federal district court challenging the Trump Administration’s attempt to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census form.

Meanwhile, a Reuters story outlines attempts by Democratic Congressional leadership to insert a ban on adding the citizenship question in the next decennial census as part of the final federal budget “deal” this year.

Census Budget Heads for December 7 Showdown

A letter to Congressional appropriators, organized by the Census Project and co-signed by more than 190 organizations, urged Congress to quickly pass a FY 2019 budget for the Census Bureau of at least $4.4 billion.

“Ever since Congress directed the Bureau to mount an aggressive paid outreach and advertising program after the disappointing 1990 Census, never has the need for these efforts been greater if we are to win full public cooperation with the 2020 count. We are nearing the 11th hour in preparations and any disruption to funding will put at risk a full and fair count that is vital for the next decade to secure the continuation of fair political representation for our democracy and the just allocation of federal tax dollars to states and localities,” said Mary Jo Hoeksema, co-director of the Census Project.

In a separate letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, the Census Project said, “given the uncertainty surrounding the final FY 2019 CJS deliberations, and the delicate, consequential state of Census 2020 preparations, we encourage you to exercise your authority and ensure uninterrupted funding for the Census Bureau if a partial government shutdown occurs. Census Data are vital to America’s economy and local planning, as well as countless investment decisions made every day. Ensuring the timely delivery of the 2020 data should be a national priority.”

Insights Association – Update on Census 2020 Spending Battle

This blog was originally posted by the Insights Association on November 16.

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By Howard Fienberg, VP, Advocacy, The Insights Association and Co-director, The Census Project

The possibility of a federal government shutdown looms if Congress and the President fail to agree on funding for a number of federal agencies for Fiscal Year 2019, including the Census Bureau. Even a brief shutdown could jeopardize the 2020 Census.

While both House and Senate Appropriations Committees have passed their respective CJS Appropriations bills funding the Census Bureau, neither side of Congress has passed the legislation, and the two versions are a billion dollars apart in their Census funding levels overall.

As explained by the co-directors of the Census Project coalition, “Census 2020 operations are at a critical juncture. The Census Bureau is perfecting IT systems and other innovations tested during the 2018 End-to-End Readiness Test. The agency is also pursuing final design decisions and preparations for the 2020 Census, which will be the nation’s first digital decennial census. FY 2019 is the Bureau’s last opportunity to ensure the next decennial is accomplished inclusively, cost effectively, and successfully and to prepare for unique cybersecurity threats and self-response challenges confronting the 2020 Census.”

In a letter to Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the co-directors encouraged Mulvaney, “given the uncertainty surrounding the final FY 2019 CJS deliberations, and the delicate, consequential state of Census 2020 preparations,” to exercise his “authority and ensure uninterrupted funding for the Census Bureau if a partial government shutdown occurs. Census Data are vital to America’s economy and local planning, as well as countless investment decisions made every day. Ensuring the timely delivery of the 2020 data should be a national priority.”

The Insights Association is echoing these concerns with Members of Congress and the White House.

National League of Cities Issues Municipal Action Guide for 2020 Census

The National League of Cities has issued a municipal action guide for city leaders. The guide contains useful background information on the importance of the 2020 Census to local communities as well as tips for helping the Census Bureau complete an accurate count in every neighborhood.

Annotated Guide to The Amicus Briefs in the NY Citizenship Cases

Today the trial will begin in New York City in the first of six cases challenging the Commerce Department’s controversial decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

The Brennan Center for Justice has compiled a summary of nearly a dozen friend-of-the court briefs from a wide array of civil rights groups, former government officials, businesses, social-science experts, and others. The annotated guide summarizes each brief’s most prominent or unique points.

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