RecommendationsTHE TRUTH: LOCAL DATA DELIVER
Clearly, statistical adjustment will fail the very communities that depend on the census most for the schools, health care and child care that come with being counted. Local and state leaders’ efforts to get constituents counted will do much more to ensure a fair share than statistical adjustment ever could.
The Congressional members of the Board, therefore, recommend a concerted effort on the part of Congress, the Administration, the Census Bureau and state and local leaders to frankly acknowledge that the Bureau’s proposed statistical adjustment will not correct large undercounts that often affect minority neighborhoods.
We recommend Congress, the Administration and the Census Bureau aggressively pursue the following solutions to improve the census in these neighborhoods:
Additionally, we recommend state and local governments take the following steps:
- Re-direct census funding to the Census Bureau’s Regional Census Offices for discretionary spending;
- Re-direct support, including funding, to the Bureau’s community partners in state and local Complete Count Committees;
- Shift attention, planning and resources to count neighborhoods the Bureau has identified as Hard-to-Count;
- Remove barriers to census employment in hard-to-count areas (for example, suspend testing requirements for Spanish-fluent enumerators in Latino colonias along the Mexican border);
- Support aggressive use of Be Counted forms in hard-to-count areas.
Finally, recommendations made to Congress and the Bureau in previous reports may still improve the census in local areas:
- Join or form a Complete Count Committee (CCC);
- Work with the Census Bureau’s Local Census Office (LCO) and the city planning department to identify and direct extra efforts to hard-to-count neighborhoods;
- Meet with community leaders in hard-to-count neighborhoods for specific ideas and suggestions about how to get complete counts in those areas;
- Work with community leaders and the Bureau to ensure census workers are hired from hard-to-count neighborhoods. Ask your LCO to recruit trusted third parties who could serve as hard-to-count “guides” for enumerators;
- Work with state government to grant a waiver(s) to those for whom Census 2000 employment may offset eligibility for government assistance programs such as TANF or other federally funded programs.
- Work aggressively with the Bureau to ensure there are enough foreign-language census materials to meet the language needs of people in your community.
- Reinstate the Parollee/Probationer Coverage Improvement Program;
- Reinstate Post Census Local Review of census counts