Beyond A Head Count:  How The 2020 Census Could  Impact The Black Community

 If you are not counted in the 2020 Census, your  community loses money and resources. It also impacts political representation on the federal, state, and local level. Make Black Count!

Every American home will be invited to take part in the 2020 Census. But the headcount is much more vital than just getting a tally of the U.S. population. The spending of over $675 billion in federal money, grants, and support to states, counties, and communities are rooted in census data.

The count kicked off on April 1 and  the poll could have a profound impact on the nation’s African American community, including its residents and businesses. 

“Our population determines the City of Rochester’s allotment of federal resources and political capital, which helps our residents thrive and reach their full potential. It is critical that every one of our residents is counted so that Rochester can be the city it is destined to be,” stated Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown noted that although the census may be challenged by the COVID-19  pandemic, he urged citizens to complete the paper forms or go on line “because much is at stake.”   He anticipates that the city’s population may have actually increased since the last count, and that would better Buffalo’s  chance of more federal aid for starters. An undercount of the city’s population can result in the loss of millions of dollars in federal funding.

For Blacks, the census data impacts funding in many critical areas, including schools and education, public transpiration and roads, housing assistance, historically Black colleges and universities, Medicare, preventive health services, programs that Back minority-owned business as well as job creation. The census decides which states pick up or lose seats in the House of Representatives. And it determines how those lines are drawn when redistricting starts in 2021.

 “Bottom line, the Census is about money, power, and representation,” Jeri Green, the NUL’s senior adviser for the Census says. “There is no democracy without the Census—no civil rights enforcement, no fair and accurate allocation of federal funds to communities most in need, and no representative government in the halls of Congress. We must vote next year and we must be counted.”

The U.S. Black Chamber  is an official partner of the U.S. Census Bureau to help amplify the importance of Black citizens completing the census. “As the voice of Black business owners, it is our priority to ensure they are best positioned for business funding and representation in Congress,” said U.S. Black Chambers President Ron Busby. “The 2020 census is too important for Black business owners to opt-out,” said Busby. (Excerpts from Black Enterprise)