The 2020 Census policy action item for September is securing a sufficient, on-time full year funding anomaly of $7.5 billion for the 2020 Census ($8.175 billion for the entire Periodic Censuses and Programs account) in the anticipated first Continuing Resolution by October 1st. These funds would serve to support Questionnaire Assistance Centers, targeted advertising and communications efforts in the hardest-to-count communities and enable the hiring of Partnership Specialists at a level commensurate with the Bureau’s 2010 efforts. All of these expenditures will help ensure a full and accurate Census 2020 count of our communities. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, which covers the Census Bureau, will mark-up its Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bill on Tuesday, September 24 at 10:00am. The full Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the bill on Thursday, September 26. It is not clear if and when the bill will be considered on the floor of the United States Senate.
JOIN US AND TAKE ACTION! We can work together to make sure this Census is accurate, inclusive and complete. NC organizations and/or businesses can sign the letter below, which addresses proposed 2020 Census funding in the Fiscal Year 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill.
The deadline for organization signatures is 9:00 pm on Monday, September 23, 2019.
Thank you for considering this important opportunity to support funding for the Census Bureau and the 2020 Census.
Dear North Carolina, Congressional Delegation:
In a few hours, the Senate Appropriations Committee will be considering its version of the Fiscal Year 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Bill. We write to urge your support for Census Bureau funding in the amount of $8.45 billion for FY 2020 as provided for in the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) bill and approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. Keep in mind; this amount is considerably less than what was allocated to the Census Bureau in 2010.
We are close to the six-month mark from Census Day 2020. North Carolina has too much at stake not to have a Complete Count Census. The Census directly affects the allocation of $23.8 billion annually in federal resources to our state. Additionally, it provides key decision-makers with the information they need to ensure that government resources are directed strategically to our communities. Also, the Census ensures that communities are appropriately represented in the statehouse and in Congress. An accurate, inclusive and complete 2020 Census count will improve the quality of life for your constituents.
If the Census Bureau is to succeed, $8.45 billion in FY 2020 funding must be secured by the start of the fiscal year, October 1, 2019. It would fund important Census 2020 components that would help our nation obtain a more accurate count of individuals in hard-to-count communities, such as community centers providing residents with assistance in completing the Census form, more robust partnership efforts, and additional targeted advertising and communications efforts.
It is particularly crucial that the Bureau’s FY 2020 funding is available to the agency at the start of FY 2020. The Bureau absolutely cannot delay the hiring, training, printing and other acquisitions, coding, and advertising it will undertake in the first two quarters of FY 2020.
Stewardship of an effective Census is one of the first duties assigned in the Constitution to the federal government. It’s also opportunity for elected officials to show bipartisan support of properly funding the Census Bureau so that everyone can be counted. However, a recent study by the nonpartisan Urban Institute found that between the underfunding over the last half decade, inadequate testing and the citizenship question, there is a serious risk that the 2020 Census could miss close to 4 million people. Your leadership on this issue could help us avoid this catastrophic outcome.
We further urge you to express opposition to any amendments that would reduce funding for the 2020 Census by shifting funds from the Census Bureau to other programs and agencies in the CJS Bill. Fiscal Year 2020 is the Census year and we only get one shot every ten years to get it right. An underfunded Census operation will leave a legacy that will follow generations to come. Our nation, especially the residents of North Carolina, cannot afford an underfunded Census operation.
North Carolina is committed to a complete and accurate Decennial Census count. The State’s Complete Count Commission is active, more than 80 percent of our counties have established, or will be establishing, a complete count committee, and nonprofits and trusted voices across the state are mobilizing to ensure maximum Census participation. We are invested in the Census operation and we urge you to join us in our commitment to make NC Count by vocalizing support for Census Bureau funding as provided for in the CJS bill and approved by the U.S. House of Representatives.
This sign-on letter is coordinated by N.C. Counts Coalition. N.C. Counts Coalition partners with government organizations, planning organizations, community organizations, service providers and businesses to improve the quality of life for North Carolinians with a complete, inclusive and accurate 2020 Census count. We believe that accurate Census data is essential to the economic well-being of North Carolina and the general well-being of every single North Carolinian. To find out more, go to: www.NCCensus.org.