We believe a full, fair, and accurate census, and the collection of useful, objective data about our nation’s people, housing, economy, and communities, is vitally important, and paramount is full participation in this initiative. Simply put, a fair and accurate census is essential for all basic functions of our society. That is why the 2020 Census should not include a question on citizenship that the weight of scientific evidence indicates will undermine a successful count of our nation’s people.
Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York is dedicated to making New York City a better place for children and families. As a data-driven, independent, nonpartisan, non-profit organization, we rely on government data to inform our understanding of the conditions that children and families face in NYC and to fuel our advocacy and improve those conditions. Young children had a higher net undercount than any other age group in the 2010 census, and adding an unvetted citizenship question in the upcoming census will further diminish response rates and jeopardize the integrity and accuracy of the data in an already “hard to count” and undercounted population. This impending undercount would come at a huge cost to the estimated 6.7 billion dollars in annual funding for programs that serve children and their families in New York State, such as Head Start, Foster Care, IDEA, and SCHIP; and would do so for the next ten years. Inaccurate data on children and families has tangible and far-reaching consequences, including unfair allocation of resources, inadequate congressional apportionment, and misinformed political decision making; and it does a disservice to our most vulnerable population and our future leaders: children.