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Marin census workers scramble to meet early deadline

August 5, 2020

Marin Independent Journal article by: Richard Halstead 

Already upended by COVID-19, the effort to count all of Marin’s residents in the 2020 census suffered another blow this week by news the count would be cut short.

U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham announced on Monday that the bureau will conclude all counting efforts for the 2020 census on Sept. 30, four weeks early.

“Just weeks ago officials at the Census Bureau assured me that they were committed to a complete count and this new decision flies in the face of that commitment,” said Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael in a statement. “This move will cut short perhaps the most critical phase of the census: the non-response follow up.

Stephanie McNally, a senior manager at Canal Alliance who directed Marin’s census outreach efforts, said it was known then that the White House was contemplating cutting off the response collection period before the end of October.

“Trump is trying to remove undocumented residents from the process of redistricting, which takes place after every decennial census,” Omar Carrera, Canal Alliance’s CEO, wrote in a July statement. “His administration’s goal is to redefine which people count as ‘persons’ and scare all immigrants from participating in the census.”

Carrera said that in addition to determining apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives, census data influences allotments of $1.5 trillion in federal funding for education, food assistance and health care that act as lifelines in historically under-counted communities.

Read the full article on Marin Independent Journal website.

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