Strengthening our democracy by ensuring a fair and accurate census that counts every person in America
Citizenship Question Update: Supreme Court Blocks Addition of Untested Citizenship Question to 2020 Census!
We applaud today’s decision to block the untested citizenship question from the 2020 Census. The decision affirms that the Supreme Court saw through the Trump administration’s deceitful attempts to weaponize the census for partisan purposes and threaten the accuracy of the decennial count. These efforts were, as the Court said, ‘contrived.’ Now the Commerce Department must move forward to ensure a fair and accurate count and stop their efforts to add this unnecessary question.
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Our communities are relying on an accurate count. Taking the census is safe, required by law, and protects our power. It’s critical that we all participate in the 2020 Census. Fair political representation and access to resources for vital public services depend on it.
The Constitution requires a census every 10 years to count all residents in the United States, regardless of background. Not only is the census central to apportioning political power, but the data also influence the allocation of more than $800 billion every year for services like schools, fire departments, and hospitals. All of us — from community members to state and local leaders — have an enormous stake in ensuring the accuracy of the count.
The 2020 Census is among the most important civil rights issues today. Historically, the census has excluded certain communities at disproportionately high rates, including people of color, urban and rural low-income households, and young children. When communities are undercounted, they are deprived of equal political representation and access to resources. What does that mean for people’s everyday lives? To start, more time in traffic, not enough community health centers, and overcrowded classrooms.
The Leadership Conference coalition and Census Counts Campaign, a collaborative campaign led by The Leadership Conference Education Fund, are working in more than 30 states and partnering with national organizations and stakeholders invested in a fair and accurate 2020 Census. Together, we are driving change to ensure that democracy works — and works for everyone.
Census Counts, a collaborative campaign led by The Leadership Conference Education Fund, mobilizes participation at the state and national levels to guarantee we count everyone in the 2020 Census, especially those communities that are hardest to count.
The census is the bedrock of representative democracy and impacts the nation’s ability to ensure equal protection under the law. It will take all of us working together to save the 2020 Census.
2020 Census Risk Factors
Adding an unnecessary and intrusive question about citizenship to the census form that goes to all households will discourage participation and threaten the accuracy of the count, especially in already hard-to-count communities. In January 2019, a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to remove the citizenship question from the census. Now, Congress must act to block the question for good and lift any cloud of uncertainty if the issue remains tied up in the courts.
Privacy and Digital Security Concerns
2020 marks the first high-tech census. Modernizing the census is important, but technology also brings cybersecurity threats, real or perceived, and the challenge of the digital divide.
Climate of Fear
Political rhetoric and government activity by the current administration has created a climate of fear that could depress participation in many communities. Many people will be reluctant to provide personal information voluntarily to the government.
Supreme Court Blocks Addition of Untested Citizenship Question to 2020 Census
WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference Education Fund, issued the following statement after the Supreme Court ruled to block the addition of the citizenship question from the 2020 Census:
In CNN Op-ed, Republican Former Assistant AG Insists Trump Administration Citizenship Question Case is a Sham
WASHINGTON – In a CNN op-ed, John R. Dunne, former assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Justice Department, insists the Trump administration’s case to keep the citizenship question on the census to help enforce the Voting Rights Act, is a sham.
ADVISORY – Press Call: The 2020 Census Citizenship Question and the Supreme Court Decision: What Does This Mean for Communities of Color?
WASHINGTON – On Friday, June 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET, leading civil rights organizations and census experts will host a telephone press briefing to discuss the pending Supreme Court citizenship question decision, the recent Urban Institute report and efforts to ensure a fair and accurate count for all communities.
Interested in learning more about the 2020 Census or getting involved with our campaign to ensure a fair and accurate count? Contact Beth Lynk, Census Counts campaign director, and let us know your thoughts.