Years of uncertainty about whether the 2020 U.S. Census would include a question about citizenship ended in June when the Supreme Court blocked its inclusion.
Three Western governors — Gov. Kate Brown (OR), Gov. Gavin Newsom (CA) and Gov. Jay Inslee (WA) — applauded the court’s decision in a New York Times op-ed about the importance of the Census and the devastating impact of undercounting the nation’s population.
“... just because the citizenship question will not be included doesn’t mean an end to the confusion or anxiety. We will not sit idly by, and we are committed to reassuring our communities that they can feel secure in taking part in the census and that their participation matters.
A miscount would have huge consequences. It would significantly erode the political power of communities of color and reduce funding to vulnerable communities for things like health care services, education programs and bridges and roads.
Our economies could also suffer. Businesses use census data to make $4 trillion in annual private investment decisions. And the information helps them decide where to build, invest in other businesses and what to sell to whom. Utility companies use it to influence where they add infrastructure and invest in new technology.
Everyone must be counted.”
Many challenges remain to achieving an accurate count in 2020 — budget cuts, minimal advance testing, rollout of the nation’s first digital census, continuing fear and mistrust in communities. The 2020 count will require stronger statewide efforts than ever before.
Meyer is proud to join with philanthropy peers from across the state in the Census Equity Funders Committee of Oregon (CEFCO) to ensure that each Oregonian is counted.
Read the Governors’ full New York Times Op-Ed piece here.