The We Count LA census campaign, convened by the California Community Foundation, issued the following statement in response to Tuesday’s court ruling:
“Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling is the latest move in a series of concerted efforts to suppress our communities’ voices. Cutting the census short is a major blow to our civil rights, political representation and an unprecedented move that will risk an undercount for our most vulnerable communities in our nation, inflicting harm on these communities for the next decade.
A census undercount means that affected groups get less political representation and lose out on critical federal funding for their communities. This major ruling comes at a time when the 2020 Census has already been upended by the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought to light the need for more resources in vulnerable communities more than ever — including health care, emergency services and public transportation services. In addition, the shortened timeline to rush post-data collection processing and deliver apportionment data by December 31 carries a grave risk of degrading data integrity, adding to a severe undercount for our communities.
In Los Angeles County, our communities continue to be short-changed. Our region, which has been deemed the hardest-to-count in the entire nation, will face major repercussions from this Supreme Court ruling, creating a ripple effect for the next 10 years. It is an enormous missed opportunity to address how the coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately impacted our communities.
But we will not let this deter us. The people of Los Angeles County are resilient and we will continue to keep fighting for justice, equality and fair representation beyond the 2020 Census.
We honor the countless organizations, groups and leaders that have been working tirelessly for the past year to ensure a fair and accurate count in Los Angeles County. And we support the advocates who are continuing to fight for adequate time for the U.S. Census Bureau to take steps in its process to ensure the data submitted to the President is as accurate as possible.
This fight is not over. And we will not give up.”