Every 10 years, the U.S. Census is conducted to determine how congressional seats are apportioned and how state and federal dollars are distributed. Pennsylvania is currently expected to lose 2 congressional seats and an unknown amount of funding for roads, schools, human services, and economic development due to an estimated drop in our population. We need every single person to be counted.
Unfortunately, on March 26th, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced his plan to add an untested, last-minute question about citizenship status to the 2020 Census. Experts say this would dramatically skew the final results -- and with it, the resources and political power our communities can access.
If the 2020 Census includes this politicized question on citizenship status, it’ll undercount communities of color and others who feel intimidated by Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric -- by discouraging them from participating at all. And since we use Census data to draw legislative districts, it’ll amplify the harm of gerrymandering -- keeping fair representation in government out of reach for too many of us. This alternate version of gerrymandering will be even worse if bills like HB 153 become law, as they would reduce the number of legislators in the assembly (and we know where they will cut districts).
Call your House Representative and ask them to remove any citizenship questions from the census. CARTWRIGHT constituents - we especially need you to make some calls, as he is on a critical committee for this process.