Census Extension Increases Flexibility During Public Health Crisis

Contact: Tamika Turner, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, [email protected], 202.466.2061
Amanda Bosquez, NALEO Educational Fund, [email protected], 361.548.6989
Michelle Boykins, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, [email protected],  202.296.2300 x 144

Census Extension Increases Flexibility During Public Health Crisis

Advocates continue to urge people to respond online, by phone, or mail

WASHINGTON – The co-chairs of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ Census Task Force Arturo Vargas, CEO of NALEO Educational Fund; John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC; and Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Census Bureau’s extension of  2020 Census operations from July 31, 2020 to August 14, 2020:

“As all of us, including vulnerable communities, deal with the impact of COVID-19, this extension gives the Census Bureau and advocates the flexibility we need to expand and modify outreach. The Census Bureau understands the public health challenge it is up against and is properly adjusting in real-time. As the situation continues to evolve, we encourage the Census Bureau to make any necessary adjustments in coordination with community partners and stakeholders. We are not backing down in our efforts to ensure our communities are counted — in fact, we are doubling down. We all need to work together to ensure a full and accurate count. People can, and should, continue to respond online, by phone, or by paper form. Essential rights, funding, resources, and political power are still at stake.” 


The co-chairs of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ Census Task Force previously expressed support for shifts in timing of certain U.S. Census Bureau operations. That statement is available here.

Extending census operations is not the same as delaying the census or changing the statutory reporting deadlines. The co-chairs have also urged Congress to closely monitor the progress of the census to determine if the Census Bureau will be able to meet the statutory deadlines of December 31, 2020 for the reporting of the final apportionment counts, and April 1, 2021 for the transmission of the redistricting files to the states. Congress may well need to consider adjustments to those deadlines once it has sufficient information on the status of the 2020 Census operations. This issue has deep and broad implications, primarily political and conceivably partisan. It must be approached carefully and knowledgeably for those reasons.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation’s members are: Advancing Justice – AAJC (Washington, D.C.), Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Advancing Justice – Atlanta, and Advancing Justice – Chicago.

NALEO Educational Fund is the leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.