The Census Counts, More Than Ever
The Brooklyn Complete Count Committee members are saddened and angered by the loss of George Floyd and the countless other black men, women and children killed at the hands of people with racist motivations. We condemn the police behavior in Minneapolis. We condemn the subsequent violence and systemic racist behavior happening in our communities by those who have failed to protect and build communities serving all people. We support the millions of protesters in Brooklyn, NYC and around the globe who are standing up and saying no to the continued injustice.
Racial injustice and violence is our community priority at the moment. Our people need to speak out. Our people need to listen. Only together can we achieve the specific changes that need to happen. We need to come together to promote this discussion and the subsequent actions required.
The Census count ties directly into this fight and responding to the Census is an action against racial injustice. The Community should know:
The census count is essential to realizing goals of racial social justice. In addition to funding, the community must know that the census dictates the distribution of political seats, redistricting in federal, state and local government, and the enforcement of civil rights policies for the next 10 years. We cannot affect the change we want to see nearly as easily without powerful, comprehensive tools like the US Census.
In America, race plays a huge role in the protection of minority groups. Data from the racial categories question on the US census can trigger voting rights protections, anti-discrimination laws, funding for social services and much more. The more accurate the data, the more effective these protections and laws.
Based on research, we know some black communities are severely under-counted, in part due to distrust of government. Communities with extensive histories marked by government-sponsored discrimination, police violence, and the denial of equitable societal engagement are less likely to respond
This government distrust from black communities, while explained and deserved, causes unintended negative consequences such as
Fewer schools and decreased early childcare options/overcrowding
Fewer college readiness program-related funding
Reduced senior services
Eliminated bus/rail lines
Fewer grocery stores, banking centers
Decreased health care options
Decreased political power
Especially during this time of demonstrations and political participation, it is just as important that our Brooklyn communities unite to complete the census to expand the funding and representation that communities deserve.
As the BCCC, we remain committed to pushing for a complete 2020 Census count, especially as Brooklyn has many communities that have been historically undercounted beyond black communities. However, our Census messaging and outreach between now and October cannot exclude a call for justice and that Black Lives Matter.
For more information, please visit: https://www.clsj.org/censusjustice
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