Oppose Census Citizenship Question

The 2020 Census is slated to include a potentially problematic question regarding respondents’ citizenship. We noted in our January letter to Congress that the citizenship question “creates unnecessary fear across the country among immigrant communities and will deeply limit participation by those communities,” which will lead to an undercount of already hard-to-count populations. If there is a depressed response to the 2020 Census, there will be serious ramifications for how federal resources are distributed to communities across Washington State for programs implemented by nonprofits or used by the people we serve. As our friends at Win/Win Network explain:

“The importance of an accurate Census count cannot be overstated. Washington receives nearly $14 billion for the 16 largest Census-guided, federally funded programs each year. These funds are used for programs that impact every Washingtonian, including health center programs, CHIP, foster care, special education grants, highway planning and construction, and Medicaid–to name a few. If people are undercounted on the Census, these critical programs will be underfunded for an entire decade.”

A depressed count will also leave incomplete data available for nonprofits and governments to use for addressing community needs. This could lead to inaccurate forecasting for services and cause service gaps throughout communities. Therefore, it is essential that nonprofit organizations join together to ensure an accurate census count in 2020.

Because of this, we are requesting that your organization consider signing the letter to our Congressional delegation written by Win/Win Network opposing the citizenship question. Click here to review the letter. Win/Win Network is requesting that you sign the letter by April 6, 2018.

We will continue to monitor census-related developments and will provide information and opportunities for action when appropriate. Please let us know if you have information we can share on your behalf or if you are looking to get connected to groups organizing a “Get Out the Count” campaign. For example, our friends at More Equitable Democracy are hosting local meetings of nonprofits and organizations to ensure organizations have the resources and information needed to support our communities in a full census count. Their upcoming meetings are:

Additionally, please make sure to review the National Council of Nonprofits’ 2020 Census resource page for action steps that your organization can take.