Civil Rights Groups Urge: Make Your Voice Heard to #SaveTheCensus

Organizations launch tool to participate in public comment period on 2020 Census
For Immediate Release
Contact
Michelle Boykins 202-296-2300, ext. 0144 mboykins@advancingjustice-aajc.org
LaGloria Wheatfall 202.548.7160 wheatfall@civilrights.org
Amanda Bosquez abosquez@naleo.org

WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference Education Fund, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC launched a tool to facilitate participation in the public comment period on the questions proposed for the 2020 Census. The 60-day comment period, which ends on August 7, provides an opportunity to establish a strong, clear public record from a range of stakeholders who oppose the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

Late the evening of June 8, the Justice Department released thousands of documents in response to the multi-state lawsuit led by the NY AG’s office. These included internal Census Bureau documents regarding significant concerns about the addition of a citizenship question, as well as the paper trail from Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (of the sham Pence-Kobach voter suppression commission) to former White House advisor Steve Bannon in moving the citizenship question forward. Participating in the public comment period will be critical to raising concerns about the “Bannon-Kobach” citizenship question in the 2020 Census.

“The census is foundational to our democracy,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference Education Fund. “It is an impartial, Constitutionally-mandated process that has an enormous impact on ensuring equal treatment under the law and equal access to economic opportunities. Getting the census right is important to everyone. We must raise our collective voices to ensure the 2020 Census is fair and accurate.”

“The release of these documents confirms what advocates have known for some time – that politics, not science, drove the decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census,” stated Arturo Vargas, executive director of NALEO. “There are no second chances with the 2020 Census, and we will not sit idly by as those with malicious intentions seek to thwart a fair and accurate count of immigrants, Latinos and all Americans. We will be working to mobilize our constituency of the more than 6,600 Latino elected officials from across the country to submit public comments that further demonstrate the widespread opposition to this costly and harmful decision.”

“The Commerce Department has wrongfully tried to put the onus on census stakeholders – such as us – to prove that the addition of a citizenship question will be detrimental to the response rate in our communities. All evidence to date, including from the Census Bureau itself, suggests that the addition of the question will create fear and uncertainty. This open public comment period is our chance to show the concerns of our communities even further, and to push back on the irresponsible addition of the citizenship question, its questionable timing, and its irrefutable ties to the white nativist agenda of Steve Bannon and this administration,” said John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC.

Make your voice heard and help #SaveTheCensus. Submit your public comments by clicking here.