November 2015 Update (mid-month)

Fiscal Year 2016 Appropriations: The Census Project sent a sign-on letter to leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and Appropriations Subcommittees on Commerce, Justice, and Science, urging Congress to fully fund 2020 Census planning and the American Community Survey in the final FY2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill. Congress must complete action on all of the spending bills (which it will roll into one bill) by December 11, when the Continuing Resolution (CR) runs out, or pass a second CR. The letters to the full Appropriations Committee leaders are posted on our website. Thank you to the organizations that lent their name, with a tight turn-around time, to this effort.

We strongly encourage all of our stakeholders to send their own letters to the Appropriations Committees or Members of their congressional delegations (as appropriate) in support of full 2020 Census and ACS funding. If Congress does not boost Census Bureau funding significantly higher than the initial House and Senate allocations, a cost-effective and accurate 2020 Census, and the ACS sample size, are in grave danger.

Census Project Blog: A new Census Project blog post (Nov. 6, 2015), Back to the Census Future, gives an update on Congress’ failure to invest in 2020 Census planning.

2016 Census Test Federal Register Notice: The Commerce Department has submitted to OMB the plan for the 2016 Census Test, which will take place in parts of Los Angeles County, CA, and Harris County, TX, with an April 1, 2016 “Census Day.” Interested stakeholders can submit comments to OMB by December 9th. The Notice is available online.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a joint subcommittee hearing on November 3, to review the status of planning for the 2020 Census, with a focus on IT systems. Testimony is available on the committee’s website.

The NALEO Educational Fund released a report, Ensuring An Accurate Count of Our Nation’s Population: The Future of the Census Race and Hispanic Origin Questions, A Report of a National Convening of Census Stakeholders (July 10, 2014).

In the News: An article in The American Prospect, “An Insidious Way to Underrepresent Minorities” (Nov. 5, 2015), discusses how underfunding of 2020 Census planning could lead to a higher undercount of people of color, low-income households, and other historically hard-to-count population groups.

An article in POLITICO (Nov. 10, 2015) focuses on the Census Bureau’s ability to build-out the technology it will need in time to support the 2020 Census.

Administrative matters: Recently, a number of our faithful coalition members dropped off our listserv, having unintentionally “unsubscribed” from the list. It is possible that when they forwarded our email to their networks, someone on the receiving end “unsubscribed,” not realizing that action would affect the sender (i.e. a Census Project participant). We appreciate your sharing our information widely, and we recommend that you delete the bottom portion of our emails (the fine print!) that would allow someone else to unsubscribe, before forwarding to your networks. We hope that solves the problem, and thank you for your patience!