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Aug 23, 2018

Quad Caucus Supports a Full and Accurate 2020 Census

The Quad Caucus highly values the inclusion and representation of all communities of color in the 2020 Census. Census has a significant impact on federal funding and democratic representation of all communities, particularly communities of color. States receive over $800 billion annually in federal funds for various programs and use Census data to allocate state budget resources. It is imperative that there is substantial support for a complete and accurate population count.

Traditionally, certain populations have been disproportionately undercounted in the decennial census. As a result of the undercount, many communities have not received the correct federal and state funds for schools, health care, and crime prevention.

Effective outreach and funding are essential for ensuring that communities are accurately represented. The Quad Caucus, comprised of state legislators of color from across the country, is committed to supporting complete count committees/commissions; working with Congressional representatives and state executive branches to support Census; and serving as trusted community leaders to advocate for Census outreach efforts. It is because of this commitment to serve as trusted community leaders, the Quad Caucus condemns the inclusion of a citizenship status question in the Census 2020.

Senator Carmelo Rios Santiago (PR), President, National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL): “Our state and local governments depend on having the most accurate data possible for the apportionment of our districts, for the formulas several federal agencies and Congress use to appropriate approximately $700 billion through more than 130 federal programs, and to have a sound system of counting every person in this country, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. The Constitution of the United States guarantees that every person shall be counted, and we intend to fight this decision to the very end so that this sacred constitutional provision is respected.”

Representative Kyle Yamashita (HI), Chair, National Asian Pacific American Caucus of State Legislators (NAPACSL): “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing population in the U.S. It is important the 2020 Census accurately captures our diverse population. One in five Asian Americans and one third of Pacific Islanders live in hard-to-count census tracts because of housing insecurity, language barriers, poverty and education.”

Representative Gregory Porter (IN), President, National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL): “In the past, African-Americans have been consistently undercounted in the decennial Census. This has led to inequitable political representation and limited access to public and private resources for African-American communities. As a result, the distinct needs of African-Americans are often not represented, prioritized, or funded in a manner reflective of their real share of the population. NBCSL is committed to ensuring that African-Americans, particularly those considered “hard to count,” are accounted for in Census 2020.”

Senator John McCoy (WA), Chair, National Caucus of Native American State Legislators (NCNASL): “Indian country faces unique challenges that result in the undercount of the opulation. It is essential that there is support for a complete and accurate count in rural and isolate communities and that the digital divide is addressed.”