The Bauman Foundation in Washington, D.C., has announced that more than three hundred leaders from local and national foundations have called on the Trump administration to remove a citizenship question from the 2020 census.
In a public comment letter submitted to the U.S. Commerce Department ahead of the August 7 deadline, more than three hundred grantmaking executives, trustees, and others said the question would "significantly undermine efforts to achieve a fair and accurate census in 2020."
"We have different funding priorities, are ideologically diverse, and do not always agree with each other," the signatories to the letter write. "But we wholeheartedly agree that the citizenship question should not be part of the 2020 census."
A separate letter submitted by United Philanthropy Forum on behalf of thirty-three regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations added that the thousands of philanthropic members and constituents it represents "are supporting research, education, outreach, and other efforts to help [the Census Bureau] fulfill our mutual goal of a fair and accurate count….The citizenship question unnecessarily adds to the challenge by increasing the hesitancy of nonprofits and trusted community leaders to encourage participation in the census."
"America's philanthropic community has come together in opposition to having a citizenship question included in the 2020 census," said Gary Bass, executive director of the Bauman Foundation. "A question about citizenship will undoubtedly discourage participation and make it even harder to count already hard-to-count populations. The results will be flawed data and communities at risk of losing critical resources and representation."