As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, every ten years the United States conducts a Census, counting the country’s entire population. Among its many other uses, the Census influences how governments and agencies should allocate resources among communities, determines how to apportion the number of seats each state gets in the U.S. House, and dictates the redrawing district lines to reflect shifts in populations and ensure fair political representation of all communities.
Since December 2017 the Executive branch has attempted to influence the Census Bureau’s running of a fair and accurate census. First the Department of Justice made an unprecedented request to add an unnecessary question about citizenship status. This was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2019. Then the President asked the Census Bureau to tabulate the citizen voting age population at the census block level, which is likely to be inaccurate if used for redistricting. In 2020 the President has made three highly political appointments to the Census Bureau and asked that they cut short their data gathering efforts, risking a huge undercount, that will disproportionately affect communities of color.
CLC has filed multiple public records requests (FOIA requests) with the Census Bureau and Department of Commerce to try to unravel the political machinations that could cause the redistricting maps that are drawn in 2021, and will be used for ten years, to unfairly disenfranchise communities of color.