Every ten years the federal government conducts a national census. Right now the census bureau is determining how to do the count and doing dress rehearsals for the actual census. But there is a problem. Funding levels for the census are below what is needed to make sure we have a fair and accurate census.
We need to urge our legislators to ensure full census funding in 2018 appropriations legislation.
Why is this an issue we should care about as faithful advocates? The census results determine many aspects of our public life including political redistricting and representation. Census results also dramatically impact how billions of dollars are allocated for federal programs including health, food, and housing assistance. An inaccurate count could mean that communities who are most often under-counted – including people of color, low-income families, those living in rural communities, and Native Americans on reservations – won’t receive the federal assistance they should.
As people of faith we often are on the front lines of caring for those who need help the most. Ensuring a full and accurate census is another way of living out the Three Great Loves.
Love of neighbor by ensuring seniors can receive elderly care and food assistance.
Love of children by making sure that kids can go to well funded schools.
And even love of creation, as census data is used in environmental impact studies to understand how our actions impact the health of God’s Creation.
Contact your member of Congress today. Urge them to insist on full funding for the census in order to make sure everyone is counted.