Black Mayors to Trump Admin: Comply with Ruling to Withdraw Census Citizenship Question
AAMA outlines alarming consequences of citizenship question for cities
(WASHINGTON, DC) — Yesterday, the African American Mayors Association sent a letter to Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross; and director of the U.S. Census Bureau, Steven Dillingham, urging them to immediately withdraw the citizenship question from the 2020 census, citing grave concerns about the consequences cities will suffer if the citizenship question is included. The letter was signed by dozens of African American Mayors leading cities across the country, and comes on the heels of a District court ruling that the question be removed, a call to action from civil rights groups, and an NAACP lawsuit against the Census Bureau for underfunding the census.
“The citizen question coupled with underfunding will result in the undercounting and potential disenfranchisement of communities of color,” said AAMA President, Mayor Oliver Gilbert, of Miami Gardens Florida. We commend Judge Furman’s decision to remove the citizenship question from the 2020 census, and are hopeful that the decision is upheld as the appeals process evolves.”
AAMA’s letter to the administration describes the ways in which a citizenship question would compromise the vital resources American cities need to thrive. Over $700 billion a year in federal money for cities is at stake in the census count. A potential undercount could have massive consequences for the tens of millions of families that call cities home, including decreases in funding for local infrastructure projects, neighborhood schools, and public health benefits, all of which will impact job creation and community health and safety.
The letter states, “The question will not only impact Latino and Afro-Latinos, but there are also millions of African diaspora and Asian immigrants that stand to be impacted by a massive undercounting.”
AAMA is committed to ensuring the integrity of the census is not compromised by the addition of an unnecessary and divisive question. The priority of the questionnaire should be to conduct an accurate and comprehensive count with the intent to best serve our nation.