by Nirae Petty
If you have lived in King County for more than ten years, you wouldn’t need the 2020 U.S. Census data to notice the radical shift of demographics in Seattle. As the city’s population drastically grew over the past two decades, many low-income BIPOC families were displaced due to gentrification. I experienced this phenomenon firsthand in 2010, when my family was pushed from the Central District to South Seattle. Now much of my extended family lives outside of Seattle altogether. I am one of many Seattleites who takes hardcore pride in my city — but seeing my loved ones suffer from gentrification made me question if the Emerald City was as progressive as it claims to be.
Like many other families, we have encountered unforeseen issues with housing and job security. As a child, I was separated from familiar neighborhoods and many of my friends. At an early age, I began to feel like our city’s politicians did not care about the people in my community.
The impacts of gentrification and how it disproportionately affected my community inspired my passion for activism at Rainier Beach High School. I became Student Body President and Vice President of the Black Student Union to convene often with school clubs and local organizations, gaining knowledge on issues our community was facing. The focus of conversations regarding gentrification was on the skyrocketing rent prices and the limited support for BIPOC-owned businesses. But I had no idea that there is more to blame for gentrification than the unyielding housing market and Boeing. I was unaware of the severe lack of representation of BIPOC individuals in our local and statewide government, and I did not know how essential it was to have people making decisions for our communities accurately reflect those communities.
Continue reading OPINION: Redistricting Happens Once a Decade — Let’s Increase BIPOC Representation
by Emerald Staff
As we reported back in September, every ten years, all residents — including citizens and non-citizens from the very youngest babies to oldest elders and including those who are houseless — are counted. These counts help to determine the number of Congressional seats and Electoral College voters as well as federal funding for cities and states for all kinds of programs ranging from education to transportation.
Continue reading Trump Moves Deadline for 2020 Census to October 15
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Tonight, temporary census workers will fan out across King County, and communities all over the country, and attempt to count everyone who is living unsheltered by doing a “head count” of people observed sleeping in tents, vehicles, and on streets and in green belts statewide. Similar head counts, which are a way to include homeless people in the census rather than an effort to count the number of people experiencing homelessness, began across the nation starting on Tuesday and will wrap up tomorrow.
Continue reading Advocates, Service Providers, and US Census Workers Describe ‘Chaotic,’ ‘Confusing’ Process to Count the Unsheltered
by Luna Reyna
As a child, I can recall two groups of strangers coming to our door: census workers and religious groups. My Latinx family of 7 never opened the door for either. The fear and lack of trust in government-affiliated institutions has always been tangible, and rightly so, in many marginalized communities. This fear has contributed to federally-underfunded schools, hospitals, public transportation, and even Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the past. All federal funding is guided and allocated through the findings of the decennial census.
Continue reading “We Did Everything We Could”: Community Organizations Fear A Census Undercount
by Steven Beck
Filling out yet another Notice of Visit after knocking on an apartment door, from the corner of my eye I caught sight of a huge form hurtling toward me.
My safety training as a Census Enumerator said to beware of dogs, but thankfully this massive husky was wriggling with delight at finding a new person to befriend.
“I’m with the Census,” I told her apologetic master, also making note of his apartment should I need to interview him as a proxy for a neighbor. Then, after slipping the “NOV” under the door I was off to the next door, building, or street listed on my digital case list.
Continue reading OPINION: Will We All Count in the 2020 Census? An Inside View
(This article was originally published at acrs.org and has been reprinted with permission. This article also appeared in the International Examiner.)
by Jocelyn Lui
Every 10 years, the federal government is legally required to count every person living in the country, regardless of citizenship status, as part of the U.S. Census. Certain populations, however, are more likely than others to be missed. This includes Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, people with limited English proficiency, people with low incomes, and young children.
Continue reading OPINION: The 2020 Census Matters for Asian Pacific Islander Communities
by Anand Balasubrahmanyan
With the Trump administration cutting census staff and adding a “citizenship question,” the 2020 census has become an intense battleground for political representation for communities of color. The stakes are high, especially for a state that is growing as quickly as Washington. The census count determines billions of federal dollars for schools, roads, and hospitals, as well as the number of seats Washington will have in the house of representatives.
Continue reading OPINION: Washington Communities of Color Push for 2020 Census Representation
by Hannah Myrick
Communities across King County risk being undercounted in the upcoming census because of fear around a potential citizenship question, according to organizations that work with undercounted populations in Washington.
Continue reading Local, State Organizations Encourage Inclusion of Communities in Midst of 2020 Census Fears
by Ryan Phelan
(This article was originally published on The Seattle Globalist and has been reprinted with permission)
A federal judge on Tuesday ruled against the Trump administration’s attempts to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census in New York.
Continue reading Census Citizenship Question Blocked in Federal Court