WASHINGTON – Ahead of U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’ testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee today, Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement:
“The Trump administration has proposed an irresponsible funding level for the Census Bureau that cannot sustain thorough, timely preparations for the 2020 Census and preserve the collection of vital information about our population, communities, and economy through other surveys. The U.S. Constitution requires an accurate enumeration of all Americans every 10 years, and Congress is responsible for ensuring that outcome. Lawmakers must also allocate sufficient resources next year for final testing of new census methods and a complex IT system, development of an effective communications campaign, and the start of field preparations.
Failure to provide adequate resources before the once-a-decade population count will force the Census Bureau to short-change operations designed to improve accuracy in historically undercounted communities. That would lead to a count that deprives vulnerable population groups of equal political representation and access to their fair share of public and private resources. Congress must ask Secretary Ross to explain why an accurate census and useful data to inform decision-making are not priorities for this administration.”
Wade Henderson is president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 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 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.