Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Examined State and Local Importance of the Census
Washington, D.C. (May 29, 2019)—This week, the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held a hearing on “Getting Counted: The Importance of the Census to State and Local Communities.”
- The Census is the basis for everything from the Electoral College to government funding for Medicaid. Melva Miller, Executive Vice President of the Association for a Better New York, testified businesses make key operational decisions based on Census data and thousands of jobs rely on an accurate Census. Undercounted communities are at risk of losing their fair share of all those resources.
- New York City contains large portions of historically undercounted communities, including young children, racial and ethnic minorities, non-English speakers, and low-income persons. Joseph Salvo, Chief Demographer for New York City, noted that some parts of New York experienced an undercount so severe that tens of thousands of New Yorkers were not included.
- Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigrant Coalition, emphasized the need to fund community-based organizations, which are critical to reaching hard-to-count communities. An inaccurate decennial survey jeopardizes their access to government funding and representation, as well as business opportunities and jobs.
- Greta Byrum with the New School Digital Equity Laboratory testified that the push to have residents respond to the Census online threatens to compound the undercount in historically underrepresented communities that are unlikely to have reliable access to the internet.
LaGuardia Community College
City of New York
Chief Demographer, Population Division
NYC Department of City Planning
Executive Vice President
Association for a Better New York
New York Immigration Coalition
President and CEO
National Urban League
New School Digital Equity Laboratory
Civil Rights Attorney, Educator, and Community Advocate
Center for Law & Social Justice
Desis Rising Up and Moving