Restore Certainty to the 2020 Census Timeline

Cosponsor S. 1267, the Bipartisan 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act

View a PDF of this letter here

Dear Senator,

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Census Project, and the 105 undersigned organizations, we write to underscore the importance and urgency of extending statutory reporting deadlines for apportionment and redistricting data from the 2020 Census. We urge you to cosponsor the bipartisan 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act (S. 1267), which would extend the statutory deadlines for delivering apportionment and redistricting data to May 1, 2021 and October 1, 2021, respectively, to reflect the updated 2020 Census timeline compelled by major pandemic-related delays and to establish certainty for states and localities that must draw new, fair electoral districts.

The secretary of commerce is required by current law to transmit census numbers for congressional apportionment to the president by December 31, 2020, and to transmit redistricting data to the states by April 1, 2021. However, the coronavirus pandemic disrupted or delayed every 2020 Census operation, including critical data processing and quality checks. The Census Bureau completed those important operations thoroughly last month and delivered the apportionment numbers to the secretary on April 26, 2021. The bureau is now processing the more detailed data required for redistricting and has announced that it will release high-quality redistricting data by August 16, 2021 and transmit the same data to designated government officials in a more user-friendly format by September 30, 2021.

Codifying new deadlines will restore predictability and certainty for states and localities that must draw new, fair electoral districts — for Congress, state legislatures, city councils, and school boards — for the next decade. It also will establish certainty for the Census Bureau and the federal courts.

Since the pandemic upended the census schedule, the bureau has frequently reached out to each state to understand their redistricting timelines and to provide updates on the progress of data processing. The Census Bureau needs sufficient time to complete several internal and external expert evaluations of census data quality before it finalizes and publishes the redistricting numbers. The certainty of new statutory deadlines will set a realistic, clear timeframe for the Census Bureau to complete vital and complex data processing, quality checks, and tabulation work thoroughly and carefully, while recognizing the need to minimize disruption to state redistricting timelines to the extent possible.

We hope you will join the bipartisan group of original sponsors in both chambers working to ensure the stability of the apportionment and redistricting processes that the U.S. Constitution envisions by cosponsoring S. 1267.  If  you can co-sponsor this critical legislation, please contact Trelaine Ito, Office of Senator Brian Schatz, at [email protected]@senate.gov or Amber Ebarb and Devin O’Brien, Office of Senator Lisa Murkowski, at [email protected] and Devin_O’[email protected]. Should you or your staff have any questions, please feel free to contact Corrine Yu, The Leadership Conference senior program director, at [email protected] or Mary Jo Hoeksema, The Census Project co-director, at [email protected],

Sincerely,

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
The Census Project
Advancement Project California
Advocates for Children of New Jersey
African American Health Alliance
African American Ministers In Action
AFSCME
AltaMed Health Services
American Association of People with Disabilities
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
American Civil Liberties Union
American Educational Research Association
American Federation of Teachers
American Sociological Association
American Statistical Association
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
Arab American Institute
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote)
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
Association of Population Centers
Association of Public Data Users (APDU)
Augustus F. Hawkins Foundation
Center for American Progress
Center for Disability Rights
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
Coalition of Labor Union Women, AFL-CIO
Coalition on Human Needs
Common Cause
Community Change
Consortium of Social Science Associations
Crescent City Media Group
Daughters of Charity
Dreams United/Sueños Unidos
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)
Equal Justice Society
Equal Rights Advocates
Equality California
Fair Count Inc
Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM)
FairVote Action
Feminist Majority Foundation
Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO)
Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda
Georgia STAND-UP
Government Information Watch
Hispanic Federation
Housing Action Illinois
Houston in Action
Impact Fund
Insights Association
Japanese American Citizens League
Kentucky Nonprofit Network
Kentucky Youth Advocates
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
LatinoJustice PRLDEF
League of Conservation Voters
League of Women Voters of New York State
League of Women Voters of the United States
Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention (LA-Aid)
MACS
MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund)
Matthew Shepard Foundation
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)
NALEO Educational Fund
National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE)
National Association for Bilingual Education
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
National Association of Social Workers
National CAPACD
National Community Development Association
National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC)
National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
National Education Association
National Employment Law Project
National Equality Action Team (NEAT)
National Hispanic Media Coalition
National Homelessness Law Center
National Indian Education Association
National LGBTQ Task force Action Fund
National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC)
National Organization for Women
NC Counts Coalition
New York Immigration Coalition
Nielsen
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson
People For the American Way
Poder Latinx
Population Association of America
Prison Policy Initiative
Public Justice Center
Sikh Coalition
Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund
The Gerontological Society of America
The Workers Circle
UnidosUS
Union for Reform Judaism
United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries
United Philanthropy Forum
UNITED SIKHS
United Way of New York City
Urban and Regional Information Systems Association
Voto Latino
Women Creating Change