Congressman Steven Horsford Meets with Census Director to Hold Trump Administration Accountable Ahead of 2020 Count

September 12, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, September 10, 2019, Congressman Steven Horsford led a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus’s Census 2020 Task Force with Census Director Steven Dillingham. This meeting was a part of the CBC Census 2020 Task Force efforts to hold the Trump Administration accountable to count every American resident. 

As the Census Bureau is in the last year of preparations for the 2020 Decennial Census, the task force, chaired by Congressman Horsford, took the opportunity to engage with the Census director to assess the bureau’s preparedness for the count’s start next April. 

“This Administration has taken action specifically coordinated to discourage and frighten people away from participating in the 2020 census. Addressing our concerns with Director Dillingham is an opportunity to stand up for our constituents and historically undercounted communities,” Congressman Horsford said. “Every decade the U.S. Constitution requires a Census count of every resident in every household, and an accurate count is critical to the foundation of our democracy. The Trump Administration thinks it can dissuade the Black community and other minority communities from participating in the census, denying our constituents access to representation in Congress and federal aid programs. We will not let that happen, and confirming that Director Dillingham and his bureau are prepared for their task is a key step in ensuring an accurate Census count next year.”

Data gathered by the census is used to determine how many congressional seats and electoral college votes each state receives, as well as the drawing of federal, state, and local government legislative boundaries. Furthermore, this data is also used to direct over $800 billion annually in federal dollars to states and local communities that impact health care services, housing, schools, businesses, and economic development plans among other priorities.

Through its work, the task force will produce two reports. The first will occur before the census assessing the Trump Administration’s preparedness for 2020. At the end of this census, the task force will produce a second report analyzing proposals that should be enacted before the 2030 census.

Additionally, the task force will work to:

  • Identify hard to count areas within congressional districts with large African American populations of 5% or more.
  • Monthly task force meetings/hearings to gain additional insight into current census preparedness.
  • Monthly task force site visits to Districts that are at risk of being undercounted to engage the local communities and collect input.
  • Establish a coalition of national, state, and local partners and relevant stakeholders to engage in a public campaign to educate the public about the census and the importance of counting every resident.
  • Create a public relations and social media campaign to raise the awareness, challenges, and opportunities associated with the census count.