Asian Americans Advancing Justice created Count On Your Census to promote a robust response to our nation’s Decennial Census. Each census response is a piece of a puzzle that, when completed, creates a picture of who we are as Americans, and how best the country’s resources can be shared. It determines how the federal government funds and responds to the specific needs of your family and neighbors like schools, hospitals, roads, and community centers. Count On Your Census answers your questions and connects you to a growing moment to count us all in 2020. Please visit CountUsIn2020.org for more information.
The Changing American Portrait
We launched this podcast to tell the story of the 2020 Census. It starts with the U.S. Census Bureau and its unassailable role in collecting population data and ends, until next decade, with the just deployment of federal funding and political representation. Census data paints a portrait of a changing America and directs us in how to meet their specific needs and circumstances. In our final episode, Advancing Justice-AAJC President John C. Yang reflects on the Census 2020 experience, from anti-immigrant power grabs by then President Trump to the pandemic that devastated communities already at risk of being undercounted. John shares his vision for Census 2030, from greater data disaggregation to the depoliticization of the process. John gives credit where credit is due. He applauds the Census Bureau’s devoted civil servants, teachers, librarians, on-the-ground nonprofits and his many partners in a growing civil rights movement. As we wrap season 2 of “Count on Your Census,” John C. Yang encourages us all to remain engaged from participating in local elections to redistricting. This is how democracy rises.
Drawing the Power Lines
Census 2020 is about to have its moment. Our nation’s most complex peacetime mobilization has survived both a global pandemic and a former president bent on undermining its mission. In a matter of weeks, the U.S. Census Bureau will release state by state population data to determine how 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are apportioned among 50 states. And then comes redistricting, the process of redrawing district lines within states to recalibrate where power lies for the next 10 years. Justin Levitt, Constitutional Law Scholar and Professor at Loyola Law School, sheds light on how consequential redistricting is, how to have a voice in it, and what can be done to ensure a robust, accurate, and inclusive count in 2030. Plus, he provides a glimpse into the origins of gerrymandering, a bit of constitutional history that resonates in 2021.
The Lasting Legacy of Census 2020
Arturo Vargas was not surprised when then President Trump sought to manipulate the 2020 Census for partisan advantage. As CEO of the NALEO (National Association of Latino and Elected Officials) Educational Fund, he saw it as another scheme to disenfranchise undocumented immigrants and other people of color from receiving the federal resources and political representation that the Constitution mandates and the U.S. Census generates. That is why he partnered with allied civil rights organizations, as he has through 3 previous Decennial Censuses, to ensure a full and accurate count. Arturo is heartened that census advocacy actually expanded in the face of a deadly pandemic. He expects the civil rights network that came together for the census to stay engaged through apportionment and redistricting. And he is encouraged by a new generation of young people who understand the importance of engaging in civic life — the key to tackling systemic racism and creating the lasting legacy of transformational change.
Natural Disasters, Climate Change and the 2020 Census
It takes years of planning and many experts to design our nation’s Decennial Census. Leaders from multiple sectors, convened by the US Census Bureau, provide guidance on how to craft a survey that will deliver a complete count of our entire population. This process requires Task Forces on technology, messaging, undercounted communities and even preparedness for natural disasters. In 2020, those disasters, from hurricanes to wildfires and an unprecedented, deadly and mismanaged pandemic, devastated the very communities the census seeks to count. Dr. Allison Plyer, Chief Demographer at the Data Center, discusses natural disasters, climate change, roadblocks to economic recovery and insights for a better plan in 2030.
Race, Ethnicity, Politics, and the Census: A Global Perspective
The U.S. Census produces our nation’s most complete database of information about American households and communities. Racial and ethnic classifications on the census are vital to developing a full picture of America and to ensure that federal resources and representation are equitably apportioned. But what do we know about the census in other countries? What kind of data is collected and how is it used? In this episode, we speak with two census scholars for answers. Dr. Melissa Nobles and Dr. Debra Thompson, professors of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and McGill University respectively, explain how censuses operate in Brazil, Canada, and the UK. We all rely on an accurate count for a functioning government. But our varied histories with racial inclusion, exclusion, and democracy are important stories well worth telling.
Census Evolution: From White Supremacy to Racial Justice
When the founding framers mandated a Census in the U.S. Constitution, their vision was to generate a database of information about American households and the communities where they lived. That population data, first collected by marshals, now by enumerators, remains the foundation of federal decision making, determining how federal resources are disbursed and political power is apportioned. Dan Bouk, a historian of data and bureaucracies, walks us through the enactment of Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution, the system of white supremacy that was embedded in it, and the transformative role of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s in the evolution of a more just Decennial US Census.
Simple and helpful
Super helpful and easy to follow along to understand the census!
Great content for an important cause!