March 29, 2010
The census is a very important aspect of our democracy, and everyone needs to be counted! By now, your 2010 U.S. census form should have arrived in the mail. Be sure to take time to complete and return the form!
United Methodist Women is proud to be a partner in the 2010 census, joining with government, non-profit, corporate and community organizations committed to encouraging members to support the U.S. Census Bureau's goal of achieving a complete count. Why the census matters:
The census is a racial justice issue.
Historically, women, people of color and immigrants have been undercounted in the census. The census will decide how federal funds are spent on local communities, and it will also be used in the redistricting process that determines the number of congressional seats apportioned to each state as well as for setting state-level electoral districts. A community’s ability to access critical funds and to have a voice at the federal and state levels is decided in this count!
The census is an economic justice issue.
The distribution of $450 billion in federal funds will be determined by the census count. This includes federal aid for senior centers; recreation centers; job training programs; hospitals and health centers; education at all levels; and physical infrastructure such as roads, bridges and other public works. United Methodist Women priorities for public education, jobs, housing and health care will be affected by who gets counted and who does not.
The census is an immigrant rights issue.
The U.S. Census Bureau seeks to count all immigrants in the United States -- documented and undocumented. With the intensification of immigration enforcement, particularly at the community level with the involvement of local police, many immigrants -- even those with residency status -- are fearful of providing any information to the U.S. government or answering the door to census takers.
United Methodist Women’s Immigrant/Civil Rights Initiative has joined 200 groups in sending a letter to President Obama and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, urging the administration to immediately suspend all immigration enforcement activities through the end of 2010 to decrease fear within immigrant communities and encourage their participation in the census. The letter notes the historical precedent for such action in the 1990 and 2000 censuses, when routine operations and enforcement actions were briefly suspended. Unfortunately, there is still no sign that enforcement efforts will be suspended in 2010, with major implications for the 2010 census.
Complete and return your 2010 census form! Visit the Census Bureau website for more information.
Encourage others to complete and return their 2010 census form!
Explain to your local unit why the census is so important.
Reach out to immigrant and other historically undercounted communities.
Include a message in your local newsletters about the importance of filling out the census.
Offer your church as a “Be Counted”site. In this program, the U.S. Census Bureau will come to locations where people did not receive forms and help people to submit their forms. Contact your Regional Census office. (PDF)
Offer your church as a testing center for applicants applying for census jobs. Contact your Regional Census office. (PDF)
Write a letter to President Obama and Secretary Napolitano calling for the suspension of immigration enforcement actions in 2010 so migrants can participate in the census without fear. See the sample letter below, signed by 200 organizations.
For more information on how to take local action to help everyone be counted, see the United Methodist Women Action Alert below. Contact Susie Johnson, United Methodist Women national staff for public policy, at 202-488-5660.
For more information on the call to support the count of all immigrants, see the links below. Contact Carol Barton, United Methodist Women national staff for community action, at 212-682-3633.
Letter to President Obama and Secretary Janet Napolitano regarding safety for immigrants to participate in the census, March 9, 2010
“Rights Groups to ICE: Stop Raids for Census,” New America Media, News Report, by Jacob Simas, Posted: Mar 12, 2010,
“Be Counted, Jesus Was! And Help Others Get Counted” by Kelvin Sauls, March 2010