The Census Bureau has announced that it will terminate data collection at the end of September, rather than at the end of October as previously announced.
This change increases the likelihood that the 37 percent of residents who have not yet responded to the 2020 Census will not be counted. Those who have not yet responded are members of hard-to-count populations: rural residents, persons with low or no income, members of ethnic and racial minorities, persons with limited proficiency in English, and persons with low levels of educational attainment.
To be sure our adult learners and their families and communities are counted, we need Census 2020 data collection to continue through October 31.
The House-passed COVID-19 bill (the HEROES Act) provided for the October 31 deadline, but this extension is missing from the Senate’s COVID-19 bill. We must ensure that the COVID relief package, under discussion this week, includes language that will extend the 2020 Census deadline to ensure an accurate count.
What you can do:
- Encourage your adult learners to complete the Census right away themselves and to promote Census completion in their communities, online (my2020census.gov), by phone (1-844-330-2020), or on paper. It’s the best way to ensure support, accountability, and political representation for the community and its members.
- Call your Senators this week, while they are debating the Senate COVID-19 relief bill.
The Census Counts campaign has set up a toll-free patch-through line at 1-888-374-4269. When you call, you’ll be asked to provide your zip code. You’ll hear a pre-recording with details on what to say, and then be patched through to your Senator’s office.
Here’s a script for what to say to the staffer who takes your call:
Hi, my name is _______ and I am your constituent from (City and State). I am calling to ask the Senator NOT to cut the 2020 Census short and to extend the reporting deadline so the Census Bureau has the time it needs to count everyone. A rushed census results in an inaccurate representation of the country. Thank you for your time.
You can also ask the Senator to sign on to Senator Schatz’ bipartisan letter to leadership asking for the deadline extensions in the next coronavirus package. Senators who wish to sign on should contact Trelaine Ito in Senator Schatz’s office, firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Share this information and encourage others to contact their Senators too. Census Counts is particularly interested in outreach to these four Senators:
- Senator Richard Shelby in Alabama
- Senator Dan Sullivan in Alaska
- Senator Martha McSally in Arizona
- Senator Susan Collins in Maine
However, everyone is encouraged to participate in this effort – every Senator is important, and every constituent voice counts!
Thank you for all you do to provide and promote opportunities, resources, and representation for our adult learners and their communities.