Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau gathers data to account for every person in America. This was written into the Constitution. The census is a tool for determining population changes in the United States and making federal policies accommodating for those changes. The next census is scheduled for 2020 and the Department of Commerce proposed including a question on citizenship.
State Assemblymember, David Chiu (D- San Francisco) and Mayor London Breed, together with leaders from San Francisco advocacy organizations, urged San Franciscans to submit public comment in opposition to the proposed citizenship question on the upcoming 2020 Census. Assesmblymember Chiu, Mayor Breed, and community leaders are concerned the question about citizenship would discourage census participation and lead to a large undercount of minority populations.
"Everyone who cares about living in a free and fair democracy should raise their voice and show opposition to the citizenship question," said Assemblymember Chiu. An undercount in California and San Francisco will result in an inaccurate representation of minority populations and will lead to a massive loss in federal and state funding. Essential industries such as education, health care, housing and infrastructure will be negatively affected by an undercount in the 2020 Census. The Census Bureau's Chief Scientist warned of lower response, higher costs, and a less accurate census if the citizenship question is included. Including a citizenship question puts the census at risk of a significant undercount, especially among hard-to-reach population groups that already are fearful of answering government surveys, according to the Bureau's own research. The public should not be asked to answer, or pay for, a census that does not meet scientifically sound standards.
The U.S. Department of Commerce is requesting public comment on the addition of a citizenship question. Public comment will close on August 7th. Submit your comment here.