In this special Georgia Legislative Black Caucus newsletter we address the importance of the United States decennial census.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2020
WORKING TO REPRESENT ALL OF GEORGIA
Remaining Vigilant and Focused
The decennial census is scheduled to end Wednesday, September 30, 2020. Make sure to complete and submit a 2020 Census form. Currently, our response rate is second-worst in the nation. Remaining silent on the census prevents our schools, hospitals, cities, and communities from getting the federal funding it deserves.
Visit our YouTube channel to see an interview conducted with Fair Count about why the census matters to our community.
We also continue to provide information on our various social media platforms about the census and how to complete a form.
This special newsletter is to encourage your participation in the census and influence your constituents and many stakeholders to do the same.
As Chair of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus (GLBC), I am proud to represent the 65 members who serve in the Georgia General Assembly. Established in 1975, the GLBC has sought to protect the general welfare of African Americans, other people of color, and disadvantaged citizens of Georgia in matters of health and welfare, education, social and criminal justice, employment, and economic empowerment.
For more information about our organization, the members, legislative priorities, and other resources, I ask that you visit our website.
Yours in Service,
State Representative Dr. Karen Bennett (HD-94)
HISTORY OF THE CENSUS
The first censusbegan more than a year after the inauguration of President George Washington and shortly before the second session of the first Congress ended. Congress assigned responsibility for the 1790 Census to the marshals of the U.S. judicial districts.
The first census in 1790 was managed under the direction of Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary of State. Marshals took the census in the original 13 states plus the districts of Kentucky, Maine, and Vermont, and the Southwest Territory (Tennessee).
The decennial census steadily expanded throughout the nineteenth century. By the turn of the century, the demographic, agricultural, and economic segments of the decennial census collected information on hundreds of topics.
Recognizing the growing complexity of the decennial census, Congress enacted legislation creating a permanent Census Office within the Department of the Interior on March 6, 1902.
In 1903, the Census Office was moved to the newly created Department of Commerce and Labor. It remained within Commerce when Commerce and Labor split into separate departments in 1913.
"The decennial census is the most inclusive civic activity in our country, covering every person in every household. The U.S. Constitution requires an accurate count of the nation’s population every 10 years. Moreover, the census is integral to our democracy.
The data collected affect our nation’s ability to ensure equal representation and equal access to important governmental and private sector resources for all Americans, including across racial and ethnic lines."
How does low completion rates impact African Americans:
Undercounting results in African Americans being denied a full voice in policy decision-making.
Undercounting prevents federal agencies to accurately monitor discrimination and implement civil rights laws that protect voting rights, equal employment opportunities, and more.
Undercounting African Americans in the 2020 Census could also impact how federal funding is allocated to states and localities.