Week in Review 3-27-2020
The Coronavirus epidemic has become a story of numbers. How many sick; how many respirators are needed; how many people are unemployed; and sadly, how many have died. These numbers drive public policy. Without this data, officials would be struggling even more to get the necessary supplies and services to the affected areas.
While we are all consumed with our new world at home, separated from work and family, we still need to make time to fill out the 2020 Census form.
The Census is important. It ensures that our democracy is working for us. "Our whole representative democracy is based on it," said a professor at Penn State's Population Research Institute. Representation is based on population. Therefore, an up-to-date tally is essential to ensure that each state gets the right number of representatives in government.
Based on the last census, eight states gained representatives in Congress while ten states had fewer representatives.
Every ten years the U.S. Census Bureau undertakes the mammoth task to actually count the people living in our country. Our nation's founders thought this task was so important that in the Constitution they empowered Congress to take the census.
The 2020 Census is also important because the data gathered from it will determine how federal funding will be distributed to programs that directly impact each of us and our communities such as funding for roads, schools, and infrastructure projects.
Last year, Trump tried to use the Census as a political tool by adding a citizenship question. This would have resulted in lower response rates from Latinx who are a growing political and Democratic force. Undercounting Latinx would give Republicans an unfair advantage in redistricting for House seats, which occurs following the completion of the census. The Supreme Court blocked Trump from having this question added.
It is our civic responsibility to fill out the Census. You can even do it online. You have until April 27 to complete the form. But, don't wait. Click here to begin.
This will be one of the most important activities you will do all year besides voting.
You don't count unless you are counted. #CensusMatters.