#SavetheCensus: Act now to protect critical data and funding for Colorado kids

Written by: Sarah Hughes
Date Posted: July 27, 2018

In March, the Commerce Department announced a decision to add an untested, unnecessary question about citizenship status to the 2020 Census questionnaire that will go to every household in the country. Experts anticipate that adding this question to the universal Census questionnaire will dramatically depress census response rates, undercounting our nation’s children and jeopardizing funding for critical programs like Head Start, Medicaid and the National School Lunch program. Simply put, an inaccurate census count would be detrimental to Colorado kids for the next decade.

The Commerce Department is required to seek public comment in the Federal Register on the addition of the citizenship question. This is your opportunity to make your voice heard and express your support for a fair and accurate 2020 Census count. Please join the Children’s Campaign and a broad group of organizations across the country in submitting a comment urging the Commerce Department to remove this harmful question.

The deadline to submit comments is August 7. Here are two ways you can engage:

  • Click here to download a template of comments that you can edit and submit on behalf of yourself or your organization. Submit them to the Federal Register here; OR
  • Click here to visit CensusCounts.org and follow the prompts. When you submit comments through the CensusCounts portal, they will automatically be submitted to the Federal Register.

The citizenship question is duplicative given that other Census Bureau surveys already provide data on citizenship status, and could result in significant consequences for Colorado kids. Census data help direct billions of dollars in funding to programs that support kids and families, and they ensure that advocates can monitor important trends affecting kids. A census undercount would put Colorado kids and Colorado data sources at risk for the next 10 years. Please join us in asking the Commerce Department to remove the harmful citizenship question from the 2020 Census.

You can find more information from the Leadership Conference on the proposed citizenship question here. If you have any questions on this issue or would like support in submitting comments, please reach out to Sarah Hughes, Vice President for Research Initiatives at the Children’s Campaign, at sarah@coloradokids.org.

Sarah Hughes

About Sarah Hughes

Sarah Hughes is Vice President of Research Initiatives for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. In this role, she leads the organization’s research and data analysis efforts, including the development and publication of the annual KIDS COUNT in Colorado! report, and provides research and data support to inform and advance the Children’s Campaign’s policy agenda. She also co-chairs the organization’s internal Equity Team. Prior to joining the Children’s Campaign, Sarah worked in communications and spent several years working and volunteering with kids in various capacities. She holds a Master of Social Work with a specialization in Advocacy, Leadership and Social Change from the University of Illinois and a B.S. in Business and Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis. She lives in Denver with her husband and their two crazy dogs.