SEATTLE (October 14, 2020) - Today, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to conclude the 2020 census count immediately, two weeks ahead of schedule. Community organizations and civil rights watchdogs have warned that an accurate census count is essential for low-income and underrepresented communities to receive the federal resources and representation they deserve. Justice Sonia Sotomayor echoed that perspective in her dissent.
Organizations from communities of color across Washington state condemned the court's decision and issued the following statements:
"Our community feels betrayed by the Supreme Court today. We've organized tirelessly to ensure that everyone has a chance to be counted, but today's court ruling undermines those efforts by allowing the administration to end the census early and leave people behind in the midst of a pandemic. That's why we're encouraging everyone to complete the census immediately, before the administration slams the door shut on the ability to be counted. We deserve an accurate census for fair representation in line with the promise of the Constitution." - Lucy Gitau, outreach coordinator, Northwest Kenyan Community Association
"This ruling enables yet another move by the Trump administration to twist a nonpartisan process for political gain, alarming observers across party lines. The administration has made a whole series of efforts to undermine the 2020 Census, including failed attempts to add a citizenship question to the census questionnaire and exclude immigrants from the apportionment process. Now, this ruling is rewarding the administration's efforts to defy constitutional requirements to represent every person in the United States." - Shomya Tripathy, director of policy and civic engagement, Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS)
"Indigenous people are one of the most historically undercounted populations in the nation. As Justice Sotomayor recognized in her dissent, a shortened timeline will mean tens of thousands of missed Native American people in the census data and millions of dollars diverted from our communities. Today's Supreme Court's rule does not have our most marginalized communities' needs in mind." - Samantha Biasca, community engagement coordinator, Na'ah Illahee Fund
"Here in Washington, the self-response rate is much higher in the Seattle area than in our rural areas, such as Ferry and Okanogan Counties. Rural communities were counting on door-to-door census outreach through the end of the month, partly because unlisted addresses can't receive census materials in the mail. For the Supreme Court to allow the Trump administration to cut the census count short will have a devastating impact on the count in rural Washington and rural communities across the country." - Margot Spindola, field organizer, Latino Community Fund
"The chaos and confusion SCOTUS has thrown into the process by allowing Trump to cut the census timeline recklessly endangers an accurate count of all Americans. The Roberts court is giving a wink and a nod to the Trump administration's efforts to suppress the voices of working class Black and Brown communities, especially those in rural areas. Each person who gets counted in the 2020 Census builds power for their community, just like each person who turns out to vote builds power for their cause. All of us need to be in the fight for a democracy that counts everyone in with no one left behind." - Kamau Chege, director, Washington Census Alliance
The Washington Census Alliance is a statewide coalition of 90 organizations led by and working in communities of color. it advocates for the unique needs of our communities. It's launching an unprecedented relational organizing campaign to ensure that historically undercounted communities throughout Washington state are counted in the 2020 census.
Courtesy of Pyramid Communications