As all of us, including vulnerable communities, deal with the impact of COVID-19. This extension gives the Census Bureau and advocates the flexibility we need to expand and modify outreach. The Census Bureau understands the public health challenge it is up against and is properly adjusting in real-time.”
This joint statement was released by co-chairs of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ Census Task Force (Task Force)—Arturo Vargas, CEO of NALEO Educational Fund; John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC); and Vanita Gupta, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference. Their statement was released in response to the U.S. Census Bureau’s extension of 2020 Census operations from July 31, 2020 to August 14, 2020.
As the situation continues to evolve, the co-chairs said they encourage the Census Bureau to make any necessary adjustments in coordination with community partners and stakeholders. “We are not backing down in our efforts to ensure our communities are counted,” they expounded. “In fact, we are doubling down. We all need to work together to ensure a full and accurate count. People can, and should, continue to respond online, by phone, or by paper form. Essential rights, funding, resources, and political power are still at stake.”
It is important to note extending census operations is not the same as delaying the census or changing the statutory reporting deadlines.
Task Force co-chairs Vargas, Yang and Gupta have also urged Congress to closely monitor the progress of the census to determine if the Census Bureau will be able to meet the statutory deadlines of December 31, 2020 for reporting the final apportionment counts; and April 1, 2021 for the transmission of the redistricting files to the states. Congress may well need to consider adjustments to those deadlines once it has enough information on the status of the 2020 Census operations.
“This issue has deep and broad implications, primarily political and conceivably partisan,” they wrote. It must be approached carefully and knowledgeably for those reasons.”
Remember—During the COVID-19 crisis you should still respond to the 2020 Census. You do not need to wait for a census identification number to participate. You can choose to respond online at http://www.2020census.gov; by telephone at (844) 330-2020; or by returning your paper form in the mail.