On August 5, 506 philanthropic leaders, representing nearly every state across the country, issued a letter to the US Department of Commerce with a clear message: Don’t cut the census short.
On April 1, the Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP) joined 29 national, regional, state, and community-based philanthropic institutions on an amicus brief
to the United States Supreme Court in Department of Commerce v.
2018 is a pivotal year on the road to the 2020 Census. Early field preparations have started; the ‘dress rehearsal’ will take place in Providence County, RI; and the Census Bureau must finalize counting methods and develop a multi-faceted communications plan. As the pace of census activities accelerates, we recap the major policy issues to watch in the coming months.
This NCRP article is part of the Civic Engagement Matters workshop toolkit for emerging practitioners.
In January 2017, a new President and a new Congress will take the nation’s federal governing reins. The implications of the 2016 elections for public policy are vast and largely unknown. But there are a few things we know for certain: The Trump Administration will oversee the 2020 Census, and the new Administration and 115th Congress are positioned to influence key policy decisions affecting the next constitutionally required population count and related American Community Survey (ACS). We hope the broad, consequential nature of these decisions will spur funders to support an accurate 2020 Census and robust ACS through investments in policy work and get-out-the-count campaigns. Here are the major issues to watch in the coming months.
When Americans fill out their 2020 Census forms, they will have more choices for identifying their race, ethnicity, and national origin than ever before. It is almost a cliché: we are an increasingly diverse nation — a factor that permeated much of the 2016 election dialogue. No wonder, then, that the census questions on race and ethnicity generate more interest, scrutiny, criticism, and debate than any others.
Thirty-five philanthropic institutions signed a letter of public comment urging the Census Bureau to count incarcerated persons at their home residence in the 2020 Census, instead of at the prison facility in which they are housed on Census Day.
FCCP’s annual convening in St. Paul last month was inspiring, educational and productive for many reasons. One highlight was a renewed focus on a critical component of strong democratic institutions and civic engagement: the decennial census.
2020 might still seem like a long way off, but the outcome of the presidential and congressional elections in 2016 could shape efforts to promote full access to governing institutions and meaningful opportunities to participate in all aspects of our democracy for years to come.