For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                                          Contact: Jocelyn Bissonnette, Director, Funders Census Initiative, jbissonnette@funderscommittee.org

Funders Applaud Outcome on Citizenship Question Case, Remain Committed to 2020 Census

In response to the US Supreme Court’s decision in US Department of Commerce v. New York, the case challenging the inclusion of the citizenship question on the 2020 Census, FCCP’s Funders Census Initiative co-chairs — Marcia Avner with the Bauman Foundation, Sol Marie Alfonso-Jones with the Long Island Community Foundation, and Alexie Torres-Fleming with Access Strategies Fund — issued the following statement:

“We applaud the US Supreme Court’s decision to halt the inclusion of the untested citizenship question, for now, from the 2020 Census. This is a critical step toward a fair and accurate count. However, the threat of the question has already created significant fear and mistrust, particularly for historically undercounted populations such as communities of color, immigrants, low-income households, and young children.

Philanthropic engagement to promote and protect this essential component of our democracy has been unprecedented. FCCP was one of 30 philanthropic institutions to join an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court in support of the respondents on this case. For philanthropy, accurate census data are vital. They help us better understand the issues we care about (from education and public health to environmental justice and civic engagement) and the communities we serve, establish priorities, inform stronger evaluation, and monitor progress. Without our shared effort to prevent a significant undercount, we risk the misallocation of more than $800 billion in annual federal funding, the further marginalization of the communities and individuals we support, and the distortion of political power for a decade.

We remain committed to the 2020 Census. There is still more work to do that requires deepened engagement from philanthropy. The Funders Census Initiative, along with our national, state, and community-based partners will continue to help educate and mobilize all households to ensure every person is counted.”

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The Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP) is an innovative and thought-provoking network that shares an underlying conviction that all people deserve a voice in our democratic process. FCCP serves leaders in the philanthropic community working to further this vision with heightened attention to issues of equity and historically disenfranchised and underrepresented communities. FCCP members support nonpartisan efforts to engage voters, eliminate structural barriers to voting, advance reforms to improve government and electoral systems, and inspire public involvement in civic life.