OK Policy statement cutting short Census field operations

On August 3, the Census Bureau announced it would cut short its operations timeline as it works to ensure a full and complete count for everyone living in the United States. The Census Bureau previously announced it would have enumerators in the field until the end of October. Yesterday’s announcement lops an additional 30 days from their efforts to reach those in hard-to-count populations, which includes our communities of color, children under age five, low-income Oklahomans, those who are experiencing homelessness, and residents in very rural areas. 

Statement from OK Policy: 

A full and accurate Census count is vital for our communities to fully receive the federal dollars that rightfully should be serving Oklahomans. This decision to cut short the Census Bureau’s field efforts further diminishes the likelihood of an accurate Census count. It’s a decision that will haunt Oklahoma for the next 10 years. 

Estimates show that each person not counted in the Census costs Oklahoma about $1,800 per year in lost federal funding. By these measures, an undercount of just 2 percent could cost our state up to $1.8 billion during the coming decade.

This most recent announcement is part of a continuing pattern from the current administration to exclude millions of people from the count — especially those who are hardest hit by the pandemic. The U.S. House has already agreed to extend the reporting deadline for apportionment and redistricting as part of its virus relief package, and it is now incumbent on the Senate to do the same to ensure that we have a complete count of everyone living in the U.S.

We encourage everyone living in Oklahoma to complete their confidential Census response either online or by phone, if they have not already done so, before September 30. Learn more at TogetherOK.org/census.

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Actions you can take to support a full and accurate Census count: 


David Hamby has more than 25 years of experience as an award-winning communicator, including overseeing communication programs for Oklahoma higher education institutions and other organizations. Before joining OK Policy, he was director of public relations for Rogers State University where he managed the school’s external communication programs and served as a member of the president’s leadership team. He served in a similar communications role for five years at the University of Tulsa. He also has worked in communications roles at Oklahoma State University and the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce in Arkansas. He joined OK Policy in October 2019.

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