Census Timeline Must Protect Health, Ensure Fair Count

Census News 04.13.20

Contact: Tamika Turner,
[email protected], 419.913.8088

Census Timeline Must Protect Health, Ensure Fair Count

WASHINGTONVanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Census Bureau’s request to Congress to push back the statutory deadlines for reporting census data used for apportionment and redistricting. This would allow the bureau to reactivate field offices on June 1, 2020, resume data collection shortly after, and extend field data collection and self-response to October 31, 2020.

“Census Counts has matched every shift in 2020 Census operations with innovative outreach strategies and a continued push for people to respond to the census on their own — online, by phone, or by mail. We support the Census Bureau’s updated timeline and our advocates will be ready to re-enter the field to bolster the bureau’s outreach to households that have yet to respond. However, if it’s not safe to have census takers visiting people’s homes by June, then Congress has an obligation to consider other options to protect census workers and the communities they serve, and to ensure an equitable count. We cannot afford to compromise the health of our communities or the fairness and accuracy of the census.

“Although responding on your own to the 2020 Census is still the best way to participate, the hardest-to-count communities often need in-person outreach. We will not have a successful census count without the millions of people of color, young children, low-income and rural residents, and more who will still need to be counted door-to-door. An incomplete census won’t reflect what America really looks like, and that will rob communities of resources and political power for the next 10 years. That’s why advocates fought so hard to ensure the census wouldn’t ask about citizenship and invested in getting historically undercounted communities to participate. We continue to make every effort to protect the census and ask Congress to look at all options to keep communities safe, while defending the fairness and integrity of the count.”


About Census Counts

The Census Counts campaign, which is housed at The Leadership Conference Education Fund, brings together community-based organizations across a wide spectrum of advocacy: civil rights, immigrant, LGBTQ, disability, infant and child, poverty and homelessness, faith-based, labor, health care, education, youth, and more. 

Through education, training, organizing, and outreach, these organizers and advocates are working to ensure communities the census has historically missed are counted in the 2020 Census. The campaign has three main action groups:

  • The national Get Out the Count (GOTC) coalition
  • The States Count Action Network
  • Census Champions: a network of elected officials and library trustees working to ensure a fair and accurate count