As someone who values the voice our democracy gives us, I appreciate the Hopewell Township Committee’s resolution passed at its June 3 meeting in support of an accurate 2020 Census count. The next decennial census begins on April 1, 2020 (No fooling!).
The need for this resolution is as unfortunate as it is serious. The current federal administration would like to add a question on citizenship status to the 2020 Census, and the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in April on whether the administration will be able to do that. The Court is due to announce its decision by the end of June.
As the Township Committee’s resolution reads, “the inclusion of a controversial citizenship question threatens to result in a significant census undercount, particularly among traditionally hard-to-count individuals, including people of color, children, lower income persons, those with limited English proficiency, immigrants, homeless persons, and those with severe distrust of the government.”
The Township Committee’s resolution lists why an accurate count is important. The Census determines apportionment so that populations of legislative districts are as even as possible. It determines funding and allocation of resources, and, as Township Committee member Kevin Kuchinski said at the June 3 meeting, New Jersey already receives much less from the federal government than it sends in federal taxes, seeing less than 35 cents of every dollar that goes to Washington.
Census 2020 Matters To You! The federal government allocates approximately over $700 billion to state and local governments based on Census data. An accurate Census is essential to ensuring New Jersey is fairly represented in Congress. Read more at New Jersey Institute For Social Justice at www.njisj.org.
The resolution shows that the committee majority is in touch with how developments at the federal level affect us locally.