Shelby County leaders aim for complete count in 2020 Census


By Kyle Shaner - kshaner@aimmediamidwest.com



Community leaders from throughout Shelby County met Thursday morning to form a Complete Count Committee whose goal will be to ensure every county resident is counted during the 2020 Census.

Community leaders from throughout Shelby County met Thursday morning to form a Complete Count Committee whose goal will be to ensure every county resident is counted during the 2020 Census.


Kyle Shaner | Sidney Daily News

High court keeps citizenship question on hold in census case

By Mark Sherman and Jessica Gresko

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday maintained a hold on the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, and the question’s opponents say there’s no time to revisit the issue before next week’s scheduled start to the printing of census forms.

But President Donald Trump said on Twitter after the decision that he’s asked lawyers if they can “delay the Census, no matter how long” until the “United States Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision” on the issue. Under federal law the census must begin on April 1, 2020.

“Can anyone really believe that as a great Country we are not able to ask whether or not someone is a Citizen,” Trump wrote. “Only in America!”

The high court did not say the question could not be asked, just that the administration’s current justification for adding the question was insufficient.

Opponents say adding the question has the potential to affect the amount of federal money that goes to each state and their representation in Congress. The CensusBureau said in a brief statement only that the decision is “currently being reviewed.”

The American Civil Liberties Union’s Dale Ho, who argued against the citizenship question’s addition at the Supreme Court said “there really, really is not time” for the administration to revisit adding the question.

The decision came on the last day the court was issuing opinions before a summer break. Also on Thursday the court issued a decision in a second politically-charged case, dealing a huge blow to efforts to combat the drawing of electoral districts for partisan gain.

The Census Bureau’s own experts predict that millions of Hispanics and immigrants would go uncounted if the census asked everyone if he or she is an American citizen. And immigrant advocacy organizations and Democratic-led states, cities and counties that challenged the question’s addition argue it is intended to discourage the participation of minorities, primarily Hispanics, who tend to support Democrats, from filling out census forms.

Democratic-led states said they would get less federal money and fewer seats in Congress if the census asks about citizenship because people with noncitizens in their households would be less likely to fill out their census forms.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the Supreme Court’s opinion in the census case, with the four liberal justices joining him in the relevant part of the outcome. Roberts said the Trump administration’s explanation for wanting to add the question “seems to have been contrived.”

The Trump administration had said the question was being added to aid in enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters’ access to the ballot box. But the Justice Department had never previously sought a citizenship question in the 54-year history of the landmark voting rights law.

Roberts wrote that evidence showed that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross “was determined to reinstate a citizenship question from the time he entered office.” The Commerce Department oversees the Census Bureau.

Roberts added that there is “a significant mismatch between the decision the secretary made and the rationale he provided.” The court sent the issue of adding the citizenship question back to administration officials.

It’s not clear whether the Trump administration could try again to add the question, providing a fuller explanation of the reasons for doing so. Opponents said that can’t be done quickly and that the problems identified by the court could be hard to overcome, but they didn’t rule out that the administration might try.

Evidence uncovered since the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case in late April supports claims that the citizenship question is part of a broader Republican effort to accrue political power at the expense of minorities, the challengers say.

The Constitution requires a census count every 10 years. A question about citizenship had once been common, but it has not been widely asked since 1950. At the moment, the question is part of a separate detailed annual sample of a small chunk of the population, the American Community Survey.

SIDNEY — With each resident missed in the 2020 Census potentially costing the county $1,800 in grants and funds, Shelby County leaders gathered Thursday morning to support efforts to count everyone living in the community.

Employees from the United States Census Bureau visited the Shelby County Annex Building to host a workshop for a local Complete Count Committee that is being formed. The thought is local ambassadors will be better suited than Census employees at the federal and state levels to ensure everyone in their communities is counted.

“It’s extremely important that we get it right,” Chad Stover, a partnership specialist with the United States Census Bureau, said. “We need to know who lives in the United States and here within Shelby County.”

The Decennial Census is mandated by the Constitution and has been compiled every 10 years since 1790 when U.S. Marshals traveled from home to home on horseback to count every resident.

The Census – which can be completed online, by telephone or by mail in 2020 – will be used to distribute more than $675 billion in federal funding to states annually, will be used to determine the number of representatives states have in the House of Representatives and will be used in political redistricting. Government agencies and businesses also use Census data to determine where services are needed.

“The county loses potentially $1,800 per person per year that is missed during the Census, and it’s my goal to make sure we don’t miss anybody,” Shelby County Commissioner Julie Ehemann said.

While most people respond to the Census, some populations are harder to count, Stover said, including transient people, homeless people and frequent renters.

“The majority of people are going to respond,” Stover said. “However, the people that we’re really trying to get to are the people that don’t want to respond or just have different living situations that make it harder for them to respond.”

Complete Count Committees will work to ensure everyone is counted, spreading the message of the importance of an accurate count prior to the April 1, 2020, Census Day and then following up with people who don’t respond.

“We all understand that the federal government, the governments as a whole, may not be trusted,” Stover said. “Where do people get their trust and information from? That’s where this committee is going to come together, and you’re going to realize the different enclaves, the different hard to reach populations that you have in this county that aren’t going to respond to the Census, and then you’re going to come up with a plan on how to get to those people, how to make them understand how important it is to be counted.”

Thursday’s meeting in Shelby County was attended by leaders from city of Sidney, Sidney High School, Shelby County Commissioners’ Office, Shelby County Department of Jobs and Family Services, Shelby County Engineer’s Office, Shelby County Metropolitan Housing, Shelby County Regional Planning, Shelby County United Way, Shelby County Veterans Services, Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership, village of Botkins, village of Fort Loramie, village of Jackson Center, village of Lockington, village of Russia and Workforce Partnership of Shelby County.

They’ll be tasked with reaching everyone in Shelby County, especially the hard to count populations.

“We’ve got a lot of Japanese and Spanish speaking persons in our community so I think they’re going to be a little bit harder to target,” Ehemann said. “So we’re working on those outreach methods. You know we’ve got those individuals who just migrated from Puerto Rico, and they’re just getting settled. So I’ve reached out to the person who helped get them settled, and I know we’ll be coordinating things with her and their church where they have Spanish-speaking Masses.”

The Census seeks to count everyone living in the United States regardless of citizenship or immigration status. Forms will be available in multiple languages, and Census employees speaking dozens of languages will be available to answer phone calls.

While the government is working to ensure everyone is counted, it’s local ambassadors who can really help in their communities, Stover said.

“CCCs speak the language of the communities, and they know how best to reach the residents,” he said. “CCCs help ensure an accurate 2020 Census count. CCCs increase participation in their communities.”

Community leaders from throughout Shelby County met Thursday morning to form a Complete Count Committee whose goal will be to ensure every county resident is counted during the 2020 Census.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2019/06/web1_PRINT-IMGP0706.jpgCommunity leaders from throughout Shelby County met Thursday morning to form a Complete Count Committee whose goal will be to ensure every county resident is counted during the 2020 Census. Kyle Shaner | Sidney Daily News

By Kyle Shaner

kshaner@aimmediamidwest.com

High court keeps citizenship question on hold in census case

By Mark Sherman and Jessica Gresko

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday maintained a hold on the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, and the question’s opponents say there’s no time to revisit the issue before next week’s scheduled start to the printing of census forms.

But President Donald Trump said on Twitter after the decision that he’s asked lawyers if they can “delay the Census, no matter how long” until the “United States Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision” on the issue. Under federal law the census must begin on April 1, 2020.

“Can anyone really believe that as a great Country we are not able to ask whether or not someone is a Citizen,” Trump wrote. “Only in America!”

The high court did not say the question could not be asked, just that the administration’s current justification for adding the question was insufficient.

Opponents say adding the question has the potential to affect the amount of federal money that goes to each state and their representation in Congress. The CensusBureau said in a brief statement only that the decision is “currently being reviewed.”

The American Civil Liberties Union’s Dale Ho, who argued against the citizenship question’s addition at the Supreme Court said “there really, really is not time” for the administration to revisit adding the question.

The decision came on the last day the court was issuing opinions before a summer break. Also on Thursday the court issued a decision in a second politically-charged case, dealing a huge blow to efforts to combat the drawing of electoral districts for partisan gain.

The Census Bureau’s own experts predict that millions of Hispanics and immigrants would go uncounted if the census asked everyone if he or she is an American citizen. And immigrant advocacy organizations and Democratic-led states, cities and counties that challenged the question’s addition argue it is intended to discourage the participation of minorities, primarily Hispanics, who tend to support Democrats, from filling out census forms.

Democratic-led states said they would get less federal money and fewer seats in Congress if the census asks about citizenship because people with noncitizens in their households would be less likely to fill out their census forms.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the Supreme Court’s opinion in the census case, with the four liberal justices joining him in the relevant part of the outcome. Roberts said the Trump administration’s explanation for wanting to add the question “seems to have been contrived.”

The Trump administration had said the question was being added to aid in enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters’ access to the ballot box. But the Justice Department had never previously sought a citizenship question in the 54-year history of the landmark voting rights law.

Roberts wrote that evidence showed that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross “was determined to reinstate a citizenship question from the time he entered office.” The Commerce Department oversees the Census Bureau.

Roberts added that there is “a significant mismatch between the decision the secretary made and the rationale he provided.” The court sent the issue of adding the citizenship question back to administration officials.

It’s not clear whether the Trump administration could try again to add the question, providing a fuller explanation of the reasons for doing so. Opponents said that can’t be done quickly and that the problems identified by the court could be hard to overcome, but they didn’t rule out that the administration might try.

Evidence uncovered since the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case in late April supports claims that the citizenship question is part of a broader Republican effort to accrue political power at the expense of minorities, the challengers say.

The Constitution requires a census count every 10 years. A question about citizenship had once been common, but it has not been widely asked since 1950. At the moment, the question is part of a separate detailed annual sample of a small chunk of the population, the American Community Survey.

Reach this writer at kshaner@aimmediamidwest.com or 937-538-4824.

Reach this writer at kshaner@aimmediamidwest.com or 937-538-4824.