|The 2020 Census!|
So, while we've been all incessantly distracted by James Comey's firing, meanwhile...
Given the sudden canning of FBI head James Comey on Tuesday, don’t feel bad if you didn’t hear that US Census Bureau director John H. Thompson announced his resignation the same day.
The census plays an essential role in a fair and functional democracy by making sure communities get the right number of representatives in government — and that government builds schools and roads in the right places. The survey’s current woes are an entirely predictable, and predicted, result of congressional shortsightedness. Congress told the bureau it must spend no more on the 2020 operation than it spent in 2010 — $12.5 billion. With a bigger population to count, a better compensated workforce to pay and an outmoded pen-and-paper operation to reinvent, any director would have struggled with that mandate. It does not help that, so far this cycle, Congress has been funding the survey at historic lows.
Ken Prewitt, who led the agency from 1998 to 2001, worries that a long delay in naming a well-qualified replacement for Thompson could be the first step of a long, steep decline in the quality of the federal statistic system, which spans 13 agencies. “That system is fragile, and it wouldn’t take much to damage it severely,” says Prewitt, a professor of social affairs at Columbia University. “My real fear is that they don’t care enough to do a good job with the 2020 census. And then after doing a bad job, they decide to let the private sector take over.”
Get ready folks. Expect a poorly run census, and yet another round of GOP Gerrymandering to follow unless we as a people wake up and realize what's happening here. The GOP is already over-represented, thanks to geography and the nature of the Senate - and gerrymandering. This could be their last chance to retain their unbalance of power before the demographics simply won't allow it anymore. Given the positions of the GOP, it is clear they have no moral quandary cheating to get what they want.
Three things to do...
Make sure you and everyone you know are counted in the 2020 census.
Tell your representatives and senators that you demand a quality census that counts everyone.
Vote for people of good moral character, whatever their party. (If you can find a Republican that can be described as such, and you prefer Republicans, then good for you! But please don't let your morality take a backseat to your partisanship).