On September 9, the Coalition on Human Needs held a webinar titled “Then and Now: How to Use New Census Surveys About Poverty, Income, and Health from 2019 and 2020.” Speakers were Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Arloc Sherman, Vice President of Data Analysis and Research, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; and Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs. Sign up here to view the webinar recording.
Last week, the Census Bureau announced that it will end the self-response and door-knocking periods one month early on September 30. The Arc is deeply concerned that this decision jeopardizes the Bureau’s ability to accurately fulfill the Constitutional requirement of counting all persons in the United States. An undercount means the loss of important federal funding for programs like Medicaid, food assistance, housing vouchers, education services, and more – across communities in every state. See The Arc’s statement. It is more critical than ever that people fill out the census questionnaire to ensure that we have a complete and accurate count. The Arc has created census resources to answer questions about the census and help people fill out the form.
On June 27, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in the Department of Commerce v. New York. The Court ruled that the Administration’s decision to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 Census violates the Administrative Procedures Act. The White House has argued that the question will increase protections for minority voters while opponents (including The Arc) are concerned that it will deter immigrant households from taking part in the census. The decennial census provides information to states in order to determine Congressional districts and to help allocate federal funding. Undercounting of households would result in under-representation in Congress and fewer federal dollars for health, education, housing, employment, transportation and other programs. The Administration now has a limited amount of time to develop a new rationale if they seek to include the question in the census.
On June 26, the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) will host a webinar on the 2020 Census and its importance to people with disabilities. Panelists will be Beth Lynk, Census Counts Campaign Director, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Jae June J. Lee, Policy Assistant, Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality; Cara Brumfield, Senior Policy Analyst, Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality; and Margaret Jakobson-Johnson, Retired Advocacy Director, Disability Rights California. The webinar will take place from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT. Register here.
On January 23, the Coalition on Human Needs (CHN) and Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR) will host a webinar titled “Census 2020: Why getting it right matters (a lot!).” Speakers include Mary Jo Hoeksema, Director of Government Affairs, Population Association of America, and Co-Director, The Census Project; Beth Lynk, Census Counts Campaign Director, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Deborah Stein, Network Director, Partnership for America’s Children; Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs; and Corrine Yu, Senior Program Director, Special Projects, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. The decennial census is required by the Constitution and is conducted every 10 years. The purpose of the decennial census is to count people living in the United States. It provides the information to states in order to determine Congressional districts and it helps allocate federal funding. In this webinar, you will learn what will happen between now and 2020, how to advocate for a fair census, and what you can do to ensure an accurate census. The webinar will take place on January 23 at 3:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. Register here.
The Arc joined with 78 other endorsing organizations to oppose removing the six disability questions from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). These questions are the backbone of the data we have about people with disabilities and help shape our programs and funding. They are being threatened with removal from the survey because some survey respondents, Members of Congress, and others view the questions as intrusive or unnecessary. The Census Bureau is doing a content review of the questions on the ACS and is looking for the statutory references and programmatic uses of the data. The CCD response can be found on the CCD website.
The U. S. Census Bureau announced last week that the number of people without health insurance dropped from 50 million to 48.6 million in 2011, marking the first decrease since 2007. The number of uninsured dropped significantly for children and young adults, decreasing by 841,000. The percentage of people covered by Medicaid increased from 15.8 percent to 16.5 percent. The report also shows that the poverty rate remains at 15.0 percent with 46.2 million people in poverty.
The U.S. Census Bureau has released a new report, “Americans With Disabilities: 2010.” The report finds that approximately 57 million Americans, or nearly 1 in 5, have a disability, with more than half (87 million) reporting the disability as “severe.” About 4 in 10 working-age persons with a disability were employed, compared to 8 in 10 working-age persons without a disability. Adults with severe disabilities were about twice as likely as adults with non-severe disabilities to experience long-term poverty, defined as poverty lasting for over 2 years. The definition of disability used in this report differs from the definitions used in other surveys, and the Census Bureau notes that caution should be used in comparing across different data sources.
The US Census Bureau released data gleaned from the American Community Survey concerning school-age children with disabilities. According to the Census Bureau, of the 53.9 million children aged 5-17 in the US civilian non-institutionalized population, 5.2% (2.8 million) were reported to have a disability in 2010.