Resist Trump, Support the 2020 Census

I don’t have “five seconds to end world hunger forever,” despite the pleas of those well-meaning kids on the sidewalk who ask me to sign whatever it is that they thrust at me. I have no interest in looking any better than I do now if it involves taking yet another sample packet from a young woman popping out the door of a skin care salon (the first three I took from her had no effect at all).
What I do have time for is the 2020 Census – talking about it now and cooperating next year when census takers come to my door or forms arrive in the mail.
Americans who are alarmed by the presidency of Donald J. Trump have fought him by marching in the streets, lobbying elected officials, and donating money to organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood. The census is a tool that is at least as impactful as any of these.
Allocation of seats to the House of Representatives continues to be the survey’s primary function. It is projected that some states, notably Texas, Florida, Colorado, and Oregon will gain after the 2020 census. Others, including New York, Illinois, Ohio, and West Virginia, will lose. Census data also affects how state and city legislative districts are drawn as well as boundaries for school boards.
The count also affects the allocation of federal funds, including those for education, hospitals, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. It shapes employment and planning because businesses, researchers and policymakers look to it for keys to the composition of Americans (location, age, race, etc.) in making strategic plans.
In fiscal 2015, 132 government programs used information from the census to allocate more than $675 billion, much of it for initiatives that serve lower-income families, including Head Start, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Pell grants for college, and reduced-price school lunch programs. Highway spending is also apportioned according to census data.
Fair enough, if the count is accurate. However, if people are too busy, indifferent, or frightened to be counted, the results will be inaccurate and therefore unjust. Given the crack-down on immigrants, legal and otherwise, the citizenship question is expected to frightened people away from cooperating with the census, leading to an undercount of minorities and a loss of influence in progressive-leaning states
There is no better argument for the importance of the census than that Trump is trying to skew it. On April 1, he tweeted that the 2020 census will be meaningless if it does not include a question about citizenship. Later this month the Supreme Court will consider whether the question can in fact be included. This after a U.S. district judge and two federal judges ruled that it could not.
Americans have allowed Mark Zuckerberg, the Russians, and all the hackers on the internet to have their valuable personal information. Why not share our data for an essential purpose? To learn what to do now and in the coming year to support the census, go to http://www.2020census.gov.                                                                                            Please leave your comments in the box below.

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