The prominent civil rights organizations collaboratively launched a tool to facilitate participation in the public comment period on the questions proposed for the 2020 Census. The 60-day comment period, which ends on August 7, provides an opportunity to establish a strong, clear public record from a range of stakeholders who oppose the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
Late the evening of June 8, the Justice Department released thousands of documents in response to the multi-state lawsuit led by the NY Attorney Generals office. These included internal Census Bureau documents regarding significant concerns about the addition of a citizenship question, as well as the paper trail from Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (of the sham Pence-Kobach voter suppression commission) to former White House advisor Steve Bannon in moving the citizenship question forward. Participating in the public comment period will be critical to raising concerns about the “Bannon-Kobach” citizenship question in the 2020 Census.
“The census is foundational to our democracy,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference Education Fund. “It is an impartial, Constitutionally-mandated process that has an enormous impact on ensuring equal treatment under the law and equal access to economic opportunities. Getting the census right is important to everyone. We must raise our collective voices to ensure the 2020 Census is fair and accurate.”
“The release of these documents confirms what advocates have known for some time – that politics, not science, drove the decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census,” stated Arturo Vargas, executive director of NALEO. “There are no second chances with the 2020 Census, and we will not sit idly by as those with malicious intentions seek to thwart a fair and accurate count of immigrants, Latinos and all Americans. We will be working to mobilize our constituency of the more than 6,600 Latino elected officials from across the country to submit public comments that further demonstrate the widespread opposition to this costly and harmful decision.”
“The Commerce Department has wrongfully tried to put the onus on census stakeholders – such as us – to prove that the addition of a citizenship question will be detrimental to the response rate in our communities. All evidence to date, including from the Census Bureau itself, suggests that the addition of the question will create fear and uncertainty. This open public comment period is our chance to show the concerns of our communities even further, and to push back on the irresponsible addition of the citizenship question, its questionable timing, and its irrefutable ties to the white nativist agenda of Steve Bannon and this administration,” said John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC.
Make your voice heard and help #SaveTheCensus. Submit your public comments by clicking here.
The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund’s campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States. It was founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. For more information on The Education Fund, visit http://leadershipconferenceedfund.org/.
NALEO Educational Fund is the leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC has a mission to advance the civil and human rights for Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all.