Attaining an impartial and accurate count in the 2020 Census should be a nonpartisan, national priority for all sectors. Every 10 years, the United States government conducts the census — a national accounting of everyone living in every state, D.C. & 5 U.S. Territories to assess demographic changes and population growth. Census results are used to determine proportional political representation, redistricting, Congressional apportionment, and emergency response. Not only is this crucial exercise used to equitably distribute hundreds of billions of federal dollars to state and local municipalities, its findings influence policymaking for public sector investments such as infrastructure, affordable housing, healthcare programs, educational grants, and more.
The nonprofit sector relies upon accurate Census data to measure community needs, develop community solutions, target services, and track progress. The global pandemic has derailed many initiatives to ensure everyone in our communities is counted. As a result, those experiencing homelessness, non-English speakers, LGBTQ+, racial minorities and other “hard to count” populations are not fully engaged in the census process. Vulnerable communities that have been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19 are at greater risk of being undercounted— which will perpetuate a vicious cycle of exclusion for another decade. It is incumbent upon Congress to protect the participatory democracy that has been integral to nonprofit success.
The COVID-19 crisis cannot impede our pursuit to build fair, vibrant, and equitable communities. Please take 60 seconds to send an automated letter to your Member of Congress to urge them to pass emergency provisions to ensure a fair and complete count– and share this link on your personal and organizational social media channels so that others can do the same.