Making Oregon Count 2020 – Welcome & Opening Remarks

Making Oregon Count 2020 – Welcome & Opening Remarks


I’m really excited to be here today to
kick up such a historic event that making Oregon count 2020 symposium
thank you and I wanted to take a quick moment thank the publication Research
Center and the incredible team led by director Jason Jurevich for putting
together such an amazing event for all of us to come together even for a little
bit and nerd out about the census the decennial census is the foundation of
our democracy and an integral component to making sure that families across
Oregon have the resources that they need to thrive as well as the representation
that to have their voices heard in Washington DC and only a couple of
months 126 days to be exact or 18 Taco Tuesdays Oregonians we’ll begin to hear
about how they can participate in the census and its importance the upcoming
census comes from several unique challenges and these challenges we will
have to work around to make sure that we have an accurate a fair in a complete
census count in Oregon our success in this endeavor will determine whether or
not our schools our hospitals and our roads will be adequately funded over the
next decade for almost a year now a couple of us have been building a team
of outstanding leaders from across the state to prepare for the Oregon 2020
census kind of like the Avengers the Oregon census Avengers faith leaders
tribal leaders local governments state agencies philanthropic organizations and
community-based organizations have come together as the first-ever Oregon
complete count committee to help think through how we will come together as a
state and count every single Oregonian now I’d like to introduce to you our next
speaker and one of the most important members of the oregon census avengers
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum Attorney General Rosenblum has been
an unwavering champion for the integrity of the census and in 2018 join a
coalition of 18 AG’s across the country that filed a lawsuit to block the
citizens a question for being added in the 2020 census questionnaire thank you
as a as a DACA recipient this means a lie
and I am grateful for her leadership we are happy to have Attorney General
rosenbloom on our corner and we’ll look to her leadership to help us maintain to
help us dispel fear and misinformation about the census so we can have a
complete count please join me in welcoming Attorney General Emilie
Rosenblum thank you so much although for that kind introduction and welcome and
thank you for being here today and thank you to PSU for putting on this really
important event and all those with the census who are here to talk with all of
us and for us to learn and make sure that we have a complete count that’s
what this is all about but first I want to just add something especially for
Aldo but for all of our 11,000 daka’s in Oregon we’re all thinking of
you especially today we have you in our hearts today is the day that the United
States Supreme Court is hearing the daca case and we are with you and we are so
hopeful that they will do the right thing because you are our treasures so
thank Oregon is growing fast ours is one of
the most popular states for in migration from the time of the last census in 2010
through 2018 we have welcomed almost 360 thousand new Oregonians that’s
approximately half of Portland more than two eugene’s for Ben’s 360 Joseph’s we
are lucky to live in a state people want to move to we’re lucky to be able to
welcome these newcomers and that’s because we benefit from their talents
and their businesses their work ethic and the diversity they bring to Oregon
it is also true however that with growth come a larger population means a greater
need for services since the last census Oregon has received thirteen point four
billion dollars in federal funding but as large that number may sound I doubt
there’s anyone in this room who will say that we have too much money for schools
too much money for infrastructure too much money for food banks and shelters
too much money for health care needs this is why it’s simply essential that
we count every Oregonian it’s so we can maintain and hopefully increase those
funds and the programs they support so we must make sure our count reflects all
who have continued to live here as well as those 360 thousand plus people who
have moved to Oregon since the last census
what’s more based on Oregon’s population growth we stand to gain another
congressional seat expanding our voice in Washington people flocked to Oregon
because ours is a thriving state a state that values people and the environment a
state that’s in the forefront of so many important humanitarian initiatives we
are country and we must continue to make our
voices heard that begins with the voice of every single Oregonian as they are
counted on the census that is why we must reached all our communities and ask
them to stand up and be counted from Malheur County to Clatsop County from
curry counting to Malawi and every point in between you must count every
Oregonian in the cities on the farms in high-rise on the streets document I’m
not young old every gender every Oregonian cats in some ways it’s
actually pretty easy to complete the census right we can do it online by mail
even over the phone the census ins printed in English and Spanish with an
additional 13 language translations available on the phone and online but
just because the form arrives in the mail with easy to check boxes does not
mean that it’s easy for everyone the 18 year old receiving the census was 8 the
last time it arrived in the mail perhaps their parents at them down and explained
that the census is an important civic duty but maybe they didn’t or maybe they
forgot and now they could be off at school right in another town and that’s
right college kids have to fill out the census wherever they are maybe they were
taught to be suspicious of unsolicited requests for information telephone
solicitors and spam aren’t we all maybe they were told never to disclose
personal information but that’s not the only reason one might not fill out the
census it’s not easy to fill out the census if you don’t have a place to
receive mail if you can’t read if you work three jobs your child is sick and
you don’t have time for one more thing or if you’re afraid of the government of
being noticed of being targeted because of the very kinds of information the
census asks you to provide and yes thank you although I’m very proud that Oregon
was part of the lawsuit that we want in the United States Supreme Court
keeping the citizenship question off the census but that is not enough to
alleviate all the fears we need to address those fears we need to
make sure census forms are filled out as soon as they are made available online
or in the mail so as to avoid receiving a home visit from the census taker that
actually should not be necessary if we can persuade people and make sure that
they know that they should fill the form out immediately here’s what’s really
important these inequities and in Justices are the very inequities and in
Justices that we can combat by Counting every Oregonian and getting the funding
and representation that we need to support our people and you are a vital
part of that effort so please urge your communities to participate identify your
community’s influencers that’s a word I learned recently those influencers could
be one of your kids soccer coaches or your clergy enlist their help go to
where the people are maybe it is the soccer field up the street or the church
or the mosque around the corner educate people about the census what it is and
why it matters work for the census and encourage people in your communities to
take jobs as census workers if we’re on the ground reaching our people in our
communities supporting their participation in the
census then they will be more likely to participate the census is a vital part
of civic life it is also a symbol of what we strive to be as a community and
that’s why it’s so important that each and every one get counted so together we
will have a complete count and we will leave no one out not the newborn baby
who I saw in the picture there not the college student not those turning 100
years old this year everyone in between we will count each and every individual
and you by being here today are ensuring that that will happen so thank you so
much for having me and spending the day on this very very important project okay our next speaker began his journey
with the Census Bureau in 1984 as a supervisory survey statistician in the
Kansas City office please join me in welcoming assistant regional census
manager from the LA regional census Center
Michael Hall good morning and welcome I’d like to say first of all I was two
years old when I started working for the Census Bureau that’s my line and I will
not switch from it I’ve said it so long I believe it all right thank you all for
being here today let me ask you a question how many of you listen to
station W I I am wiil you know everybody but ever look at
Miss blank look you got to see your faces you can see how you’re looking at
me right now it stands for what’s in it for me
everybody listens that station so as to Attorney General has said how important
the census is to to the state and to everyone hearing how much you growth is
out here you got identified those trusted leaders yourselves and other
trussel used to out the state we’re going to go in and make sure you fine
tune with station wifm is for every individual that you go it’s
at the soccer field is it the faith-based community is it only is it
at the the city sending out notices in the water bills is this some notices
wherever you can get to trusted word out community-based organization zone now
let’s see the Attorney General also mention about jobs okay now we have
projected for the seven students seven state area or that we have for the
cabinet Los Angeles region that we need to recruit approximately 400,000 people
to work for the census to work but guess what you all are going to prove them
wrong and how are you gonna prove them tell
them we don’t need that many people because you’re going to such a great job
of getting everybody to respond to the census when that form first comes out or
that notice comes out then to go online and have them actually fill it out and
participate in the census now let’s be realistic
my dad is 90 years old and my mom is 85 they ain’t alone no sense its online I
can tell you that I figured I can get them a look at the iPad look at your
grandkids pictures okay so I know they any one of those sensors go online but
I’ve already talked to my brother who’s gonna go over there and help mama day to
make sure they’ve got all the form just in case he doesn’t do that I’m also told
mom there’s 800 number I will give them to number you bad the freeway in for
them and call for number 300 number that doesn’t work they’re gonna get a form
mail to it so I have a form a link to it my dear life honey baby you need to fill
that out because that job simply you know that’s important that’s what my
could do for living so you need to make sure you fill it out so he will push my
mom to do that so whatever it takes if you participate so let me just say what
can you as individual do to promote the census I got my feelings hurt in the
2000 census when I was added when I was at a church telling some people about
the importance of the census a like yeah yeah okay pastor got up there and say it
about the importance of the census and put his actionable spin on some of the
talking points I gay it took me 45 minutes to get out of the parking lot to
get home that day because everybody wanted to talk to me about the sentences
because it came from the past and finally I got a little attitude
passing solid points so trusted voices fought a long way in getting things done
on the census so I just wanted to let you make sure that stress to you that is
safe secure we want to count everyone wants only one and in the right place
and this is going to be the best senses ever because let me just end with this
but no time is fleeing here we got quite a bit of agenda my mom when her health
was better used to go to the marine buys I’m time my brain so high then when she
pulled it out of oven she burned it tip on the brain fire very late ok she cook
three or four little marine pies my older brother God knows I love him but
he would always make sure he got a more piece of little rain pine idea every
other Christmas even if I cut up he’s taking it out of the pan put it in
something else heat it behind the milk and everything
else he still would find an extra minute rain pie all my mama cared was that
hurting the memory if I was going to get eaten everybody’s gonna enjoy okay the
government will allocate at least six hundred and seventy five billion dollars
on this account that’s what a beef every year don’t let my big brother
eat up you’re part of six hundred seventy five billion dollars because
you’re not counting and we miss you we miss you for ten years okay so it’s very
important that you get the word out every since the local Jason I’m gonna
hook on me any second so I thank you very much for your time and I let you
hear the real speaker my former boss John Thompson will be able to get you to
be a keynote speaker so thank you very much and I’ll be around
questions you may have thank you good morning everybody
Jason Jurgen bitch director of the population Research Center here at
Portland State I want to start off with thank-yous this morning
because I’ve got a number of thank yous to to to make first off the census
equity funder committee of Oregon they’ve led this a lot of efforts around
census 2020 from the beginning and this has been would not be possible without
the funding support from the census equity funder committee of Oregon and
it’s these organizations here which are a coalition of philanthropic
organizations across the Portland Metro particular I want to thank Charlie Brown
Carol Cheney Erin Dysart Lauren Gottfredson Amanda Whelan and Jesse
Beeson if we could just give Seco a big round of applause thank you so much I
also want to thank folks at the population Research Center that have
made this event possible a particular Julia Michelle Matt Cunningham Matt
Cunningham for the fabulous work in pulling this event together as well as
Nick John Charles Renison Kevin Rancic Deborah Loftus Randi Morris and Paul
Runge from PR C so if you could also give them a round of applause as well we’re grateful for grateful also to our
partners at the federal and our federal partners is the US Census Bureau and as
well as folks from the governor’s office although Solano this has been a great
partnership to this point over the past year year and a half in terms of getting
the resources together to be able to ensure that everybody is counted here in
Oregon and so I also want to finally thank
director Thompson Attorney General Rosenblum and all morning panelists and
afternoon presenters thank you for being here today for this this critically
important event I want to tell you a little bit this morning why I’m here and
why I pushed for this event which is the the first to my knowledge the first
event kicking off the census here in Oregon this was an idea that I had seen
other states do in the early part of 2019 and back in 2018 and and I was
noticing just great results from these events these kickoff events that were
committing the state its communities to ensuring a fair and accurate count also
at the same time I got a request back in March of 2019 from Black Press USA and
the the gentleman that that contacted me in late March his name was Stacy Brown
and he asked me to provide some information underscoring in particular
why it’s important for African Americans to participate in the census
particularly given that African Americans aren’t under counted group in
the census and if we think about any many some of you’ve heard this story
before but census 2010 was one of the most accurate censuses in recent
American history we had virtually a net 0 under count across the country but of
course when the data are disaggregated by race ethnicity by age by nativity by
renters status we start to see that we miss people unfortunately and there are
people who are not counted and so even though it was one of the most accurate
overall folks putting african-americans were missed in
the statistic that I’ve been many of you have heard me cite before is two point
one percent two point one percent of african-americans were missed in the
2010 census which represents eight hundred thousand african-americans
across the United States and so I use those statistics in this article and
Stacy Brown quoted me in the article that was disseminated to historically
black newspapers across the country including the scanner here in Portland
and shortly after that article was disseminated I received a letter in the
mail handwritten are hand typed letter from
Texas and this is the introduction to the letter I’m writing you after reading
an article in the Houston Defender on April 4th in which you set for all the
count all that must be counted you said one point five percent of Hispanics and
two percent of african-americans were under counted I am here to confirm what
you say is true the letter goes on I’m a 74 year old African American who has
never been counted in the census and to the best of my knowledge and all these
years of filling out a questionnaire I have never had anybody knock at my door
requesting information nor can I find information on previous census records
relating to myself and including folks that mr. William his family when he goes
to the publicly available census records from 1940 and earlier he can’t find his
family members in the decennial census so he concludes this company thinking
how this is possible in all these years not one record of me being counted I
decided to write you in case some folks say your information is incorrect
thank you for your attention this is why we’re here we are here to make sure that
everybody in this country is counted in the census as the bedrock of our
democracy we have a lot of work to do ahead of us
prior to early March and this is one example of why I think that this event
is so important and why I’m so delighted that you are all here so thank you for
being here they really appreciate it and I’m
grateful to mr. William as well for sharing his story so it’s my distinct
honor to introduce this morning’s plenary speaker former director of the
US Census Bureau John Thompson John Thompson was sworn in as the 24th Census
Bureau director on August 8th 2013 and he served in that role until 2017
director Thompson joined the Census Bureau in 1975 working in a statistical
methods division until 1987 he then moved to from 95 to 2002 he served as
the chief of the decennial management division an associate director of the
2000 census director former director Thompson also served as is the executive
vice president and then president and CEO of NRC previously known as the
National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago from 2002 to 2013
a longtime leader in the social science research community Thompson is elected
fellow of the american statistical association and past chair of the social
science social statistics section in committee on fellows he holds a
bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in mathematics from Virginia Tech we are
very fortunate here this morning to have former director Thompson joining us to
share his perspective and the work ahead of us on the 2000 census so please join
me in welcoming the former director of the Census Bureau John Thompson well I am honored to be here to talk to
you so many folks that are really really enthusiastic about the 2020 census I’m
pretty enthusiastic better too having been the director so a lot of what I’m
going to say you’ve probably already heard but it doesn’t hurt I think to
emphasize it so why is the census important well it’s the cornerstone of
our democracy it’s in article 1 section 2 of the Constitution it’s one of the
few data collection activities that are in the Constitution and it’s right at
the front of the Constitution said the framers understood the importance of
getting a good count and allocating resources so it’s used for
reapportioning the Congress every 10 years
it’s used for drawing local districts and congressional districts over 900
billion dollars of federal funding is allocated every year based on the census
and it’s essential for for local planning state planning travel
government planning businesses use it to decide where to invest and finally this
this isn’t very well known but the census is carried for it every year in
the form of population estimates and these are used to control and make
representative virtually every demographic survey that’s conducted in
the United States and that includes federal and private when I was at the
National Opinion Research Center we used the sense of state and make our
it’s representative and these surveys go well beyond the nine hundred billion
dollars that’s allocated based on the census alone there’s a lot of health
surveys that are better conducted there are business surveys that are conducted
the American Community Survey is conducted and if those surveys aren’t
representative then the effect of a bad census goes a lot further than just the
Census and you are stuck with the results of the census for ten years
that’s why it’s so important to get it right the decennial census is consistent
it’s been taken every ten years since 1790 it’s always included more
information than just the head count and except for 1920 the census has been used
to reapportioned the Congress every time there’s a long story about 1920 which we
don’t have time to go into a couple of legal dates in the census so by December
31st the Census Bureau has to produce the counts for apportionment those are
50 numbers one for each state which includes all the residents of the state
plus the overseas federal and civilian workforce the president will usually deliver these
numbers to the Congress after the census however there are some legal opinions
and I’ve cited one that the president has a little leeway when he gets those
50 numbers from the Secretary of Commerce so it might be a really
interesting time in December of 2020 when we see what the president does but
numbers and by by March 31st of to 2021 the Census Bureau has to complete
delivery every state the data for redistricting a couple other things
about the census law first off it really maintains that the census data is
confidential there are really really serious fines and penalties if the
census employee or a former census employee were to reveal confidential
data census employees take it and oath for life to never reveal personal
information and the law also implies that when the Census Bureau puts a its
publications the publication’s can’t identify individuals or individual
characteristics the other thing is that the census is also mandatory you are
required by law to respond to the census now the Census Bureau is not going to go
and find people or lock people up for not responding that’s not what the
Census Bureau’s ube and in fact the Census Bureau has no enforcement
authority they’re a statistical agency and they believe that the best way to
get people to participate is to explain to them why the census is important to
them and that it’s safe there are ok so why is it important for for Oregon well
as you’ve heard Oregon stands to gain another seat in Oregon received over 13
and a half million dollars in federal funding in 2016
so it really means a lot to Oregon to get a good count so there are a little
bit of background on the census so I can explain to you what’s going to be a
little different about the 2020 census so the census process from 1970 through
can well that’s pretty simple propellant and it’s easy to explain it’s hard to
carry out so the idea was to prepare an address list to mail a paper
questionnaire to every household on the address list most households on the
address list to capture the information off the mail returns and then to conduct
an in-person enumeration of those that didn’t self respond or didn’t mail back
a questionnaire and that operation was conducted by a paper-and-pencil
and what might have worked well in 1970 became more and more strained as the
population of the United States got more diverse living arrangements got more
diverse this they just got more complicated in the United States and the
only thing you could do with the paper and pencil operation facing this this
growing complexity was to throw more bodies and hire more people build more
infrastructure and that’s why if you look at it the cost of the Census you
can see that it’s gone up exponentially it’s gone up more rapidly than
population growth and it’s gone up more rapidly than inflation is because of
that paper and pencil based operation which required more and more people so
for the 2020 census the idea was to re-engineer the census and there were
four basic ways to reengineer the census which dealt with the address list
development the self-response using administrative records in different ways
for the first time and reengineering in the field operations I’ll talk about
each one of those but one thing and then talk about this really important that
hasn’t changed and is still there is the integrated communications and
partnership program which started in the twenty twenty cent that the 2000 census
continued in 2010 and it’s a big component of the 2020
census and probably in my opinion the most important component and I’ve got
some data to show you why so first off talking about an address canvassing or
billing the address list but before that the 2020 census the US Census Bureau had
to walk the entire country shortly before the census to update the address
list but by using modern geospatial tools the Census Bureau did a lot of
walking in an office environment so they didn’t have to actually physically walk
the whole United States they estimated I believe that was 30 to 35 percent of the
streets would have to be walked they completed that operation recently in the
automation that they used worked very very well and introduced some serious
efficiencies into the operation so for the self-response the Census Bureau for
the first time is offering the Internet as the primary method of self responding
now the Census Bureau also understands that not everybody has access to the
Internet it will fill that by the internet so they target about 80 percent
of the United States to get a letter which will invite you to go online and
respond the other 20% will get questionnaire in the mail
that’s called Internet choice so they can either feel like the paper
questionnaire or they can call can go on the internet or they can call in so this
is first census where they’ve actually in such a series actually offered
telephone as the means to respond so this this is the the biggest
introduction of efficiency into the Census Bureau this is to reengineer that
non-response follow-up operation and to use automation so the Census Bureau has
been testing this they were Testament when I was the area that was working
well and I and I understand it’s working even better than hell but when I was
there and that is they are equipping the enumerators with smartphones I believe
their iPhone eights and they’re equipping the supervisors of the
enumerators with with tablets and this allows the introduction of mobile
technology into the census process and gets real efficiencies so you know if
the numerator has picked up their caseload you know if the numerators in
the wrong area you optimize overnight then with the workload for the
enumerators it just as resulted in real efficiencies I know in the tests they
did in Rhode Island the end-to-end test the it worked thirty to forty percent
more efficiently than a paper-and-pencil non-response follow-up so this is this
is introducing real efficiencies the final innovation I want to talk about is
new uses of administrative records these are like tax records Social Security
records other other records that the federal government collects and the
Census Bureau has the authority to use by law by law also they can’t release
that data to anyone so in previous censuses administrative records have
been used that’s how the overseas military were counted the Census Bureau
doesn’t go cell-to-cell and most maximum maximum security prisons that use the
administrative records they numerate many college dorms using administrative
records long-term care facilities the new use here is to reduce the
non-response follow-up workload and what that means is that
at least one visit the Census Bureau will use administrative records to count
some of the housing units are also going to count some of the vacant housing
units using administrative records vacant housing units don’t mail back a
form for the most part so it’s it’s not going to be a lot is maybe 3% of the
population of united states will be counted this way the important thing
people worry about administrative records not being representative of the
hard to count populations that’s not what this is intended to do it’s
intended to reduce the workload so that more resources can be applied to count
the hard to count populations so administrative records is not the
solution for an undercount or things like that it’s the solution to reduce
freq you save resources and apply them differently so this I think was the
major innovation that got introduced in the 2000 census and this was the use of
a paid advertising campaign combined with hiring a number of partnership
specialists that could go work with a variety of local areas including many of
the many of the organizations in Oregon in Portland and the idea was to get a
two messages one why the census is important and the other one is that the
census is confidential and the Census Bureau believed then and still believes
that that can’t message can’t come out from Washington DC it’s got to commit
from trusted voices at a local level either in a trusted media or by a
trusted spokesperson for the Census Bureau and now I have a little data to
show you why that’s important so these are two maps of the United States
they’re both on the same scale the one on the left is is what would happen if
the 1990 census resulted in 2020 so this carried the population
forward and looked at the 1990 census under counts the one on the right is the
to the 2010 census under count these are at the county level and they’re both on
the same scale the only difference well the the primary difference between the
1990 census and the 2000 census in the 2010 census was that combined
advertising and partnership program and I know that because I ran the 2000
census and it’s a long story we had used in 1990 procedures to do the 2000 census
and on that map red is bad so you can see the dramatic difference in the level
of under counts at the county level and at the national level that resulted
between the three censuses in the 2000 census looks pretty much like the 2010
census there’s very little difference between them so for example the under
count of Hispanics was five percent about in 1990 in 2020
2010 it was about a percent in half which isn’t perfect but it’s a dramatic
game in inaccuracy the same is true for the african-american populations so this
really does show why it’s so important to get the word out about the census so
when they’ve already talked about resonance criteria I won’t talk about
that very much the census counts you at your usual residence as of April 1st
it’s not that simple they have a nice reference on their
website that explains their residence rules but for example everyone’s counted
citizens non citizens regardless of legal status the Census Bureau doesn’t
ask legal status prisoners are counted in prisons college students are kind to
college presidents and as I said overseas military and federal civilians
accounted in the United States the census is pretty basic these are the
questions that it asks name race Spanish origin age date of birth sex
relationship and can your whether you own a rent and then it has a couple
operational questions which are designed to jog people’s memory to make sure that
they’ve included everyone on them on the questionnaire but it’s a pretty short
questionnaire and it’s pretty simple I already talked about the two legal
deadlines there’s there this the business as a chart I have to chose the
operations there’s much better charts in your pamphlet and at the back of the
room about you know what happened the big the big the big things are that are
going to come up will be the start of self-response which is March 12th and
then the start of the non-response follow-up which is May 13th those are
two critical dates for the Census Bureau the Census Bureau is also going to be
making available the self-response rates at the census tract level on a daily
basis during the during the enumeration so everyone can get those and look at it
and see how their local areas doing in self-response and help us sense about
getting them self-response in those areas that are falling behind so census
funding right now the census has good funding from both the House of
Representatives and the Senate the big deal is that they have to come to a
resolution on those bills and get the President to sign it and so the Census
Bureau will be stuck with the continuing resolution seven former directors wrote
to the House and Senate appropriators stressing that the Census Bureau should
not be under a continuing resolution and they really did get stuck in a continued
resolution it will have a bad effect on the 2020 census because the sense of
fear needs to start spending a lot of money right now to build up and take the
census so maybe a little bit of a the citizenship question and in full
disclosure I was a consultant in two of the three lawsuits against the
citizenship question and I of course was working for the plaintiffs was the big
fan of the citizenship question and it was very problematic the citizenship
question had never been tested in the contemporaneous census environment and
in fact the way it was posed it had never been asked before on a census
there was a high risk that undercounts would result because the citizenship
question and in fact that of course meant serious I the representation so
fortunately three federal judges found that the citizenship question should not
be asked and barred it there are a number of reasons they did this one of
the major ones was that secretary Ross had violated the Administrative
Procedures Act which meant he was arbitrary capricious so that went to the
Supreme Court the Supreme Court upheld the violation of the Administrative
Procedures Act and remanded it back to the to New York the Supreme Court ruling
was really really important though that the Secretary of Commerce can’t be
arbitrary and capricious so if you look at the set of the Department of Commerce
they have the Census Bureau and they have the Bureau of Economic Analysis
they produce a lot of international economic statistics and our demographic
statistics and the Secretary of Commerce could be arbitrated capricious that
means that any secretary going forward could change that
statistics like the unemployment rate like the poverty rate even gross
domestic product so that was just incredibly important to maintain the
integrity of our National Statistics to keep the Secretary of Commerce honest
well at least not the arbitrary capricious so ultimately the Census
Bureau the admittedly curie administration decided not to ask the
census question they were going to fight it for a while and then they the
decision they decided not to they did order the Census Bureau to produce a
data file using administrative records of citizen voting age population at the
census block level that could be used for redistricting that’s in an executive
order so there are some there are some issues that have been associated with
the 2020 census one of them was where did count prisoners there was a big move
to not count prisoners in prisons but to count them were they were pre
incarceration historically the Census Bureau is
counting prisoners in prisons and the decision for this census was to count
them in prisons there are efforts to exclude illegal residents from
apportionment most people that I’ve talked to believe that the Constitution
says you have to count everyone in the United States however Alabama has sued
to exclude illegal residents from apportionment and we’ll see how that sea
turns out there’s also tremendous concern over the production of the
citizenship data file that at the block level and there’s a lawsuit in Maryland
a bet that that says the Census Bureau should not produce that file mal
is really the force behind that lawsuit there are concerns also that the
internet response will will negatively affect some communities that don’t have
access to the Internet that’s where partnership really comes in
to help those communities there are concerns they expressed that the Census
Bureau is not hiring and a partnership specialist because there’s a lot of
information that shows that concerns and fear of government is higher than it’s
been before and so the Census Bureau should be applying more resources there
I’m not saying I believe those concerns and disparaging their partnership
specialists but I’m just saying what some of the issues I’ve heard are and
there are concerns that the bureau is going to have difficulty in hiring
enough people because of the economy there are some also some other issues concerns so the IT systems this is a
very automated census there are concerns that will the Aiki work it’s been
working well in testing the Census Bureau says it’s and I believe them that
they believe that it’s one scheduled to be launched but we won’t know until it’s
actually launched and that means when the self-response period opens will the
I will it will the self-response scale to handle the work the incoming info of
hits the demand model they have when I was there was that there will be 2
million the simultaneous hits on the Census Bureau’s website so we’ll see
what happens there and then the non-response follow-up that’s a lot of
automation has to work it has to to scale and the question is will it scale
and again we won’t really know that until they
they do the operation but that’s miss you cybersecurity has always been an
issue with the Census and I think they’re in good shape here there that
when I was there they were doing everything right and they’re still doing
everything right there is a new threat though and that’s called disinformation
campaigns that’s similar to what happened in the 2016 election where
there’s a lot of disinformation spread you better get that Hillary Clinton
there concerns that if that will same thing will happen for the 2020 census
that there’ll be a lot of disinformation distributed about the census and you can
think of all kinds of things that could come back and and not get people to
respond another another issue is what is IC e going to do during the census so
one of the things the Census Bureau is going to do is they’re going to send out
a lot of mobile bands to local communities to help them be
counted so what would happen if IC e followed those multiple bands around the
censuses and secretive about holding the partnership event what would happen if
IC e shows up at those partnership events we don’t know what IC e is going
to do hopefully they will they will ease up a little bit and then you know what
happens if there are serious under counts in the 2020 census what’s the
remedy there’s they’re people thinking about remedies there’ll probably be some
lawsuits about that if there are serious under counts this is something that we
don’t have time to talk about the Census Bureau is using a new way to protect the
tabular data that they put out it’s called differential privacy and believe
me you don’t have time to talk about differential privacy but the big the big
issue here with differential privacy is that it’s going to limit the amount of
data that comes out compared to previous censuses and it’s
also going to put some uncertainty into the data that is going to be measured in
made available so now the redistricting Nadel will come out and there’ll be some
idea about the uncertainty in it I don’t know how that’s going to play out but
it’s going to be new and of course there could be new litigation over the 2020
census I worked on the 1990 the 2000 census the 1980 census and there was
there was litigation involved in all of those censuses 2010 seem to be the first
census with a major litigation we’ll see what happens in 2020 so how can you help
I think you’ve heard a lot about how you get out so I won’t go into that except
to say that I think the biggest threat to a good census is going to be a
disinformation campaign and I’m pretty sure that’s going to be one if you want
to play with someone’s democracy then you undermine the census because the
census is the cornerstone of the democracy so there are going to be
attempts to to spread disinformation about the census and what you can do is
make sure that if you hear strange rumors that the census won you remind
people but that that’s not the census too you can refer them to the Census
Bureau so they can they can take some action so so if your are a couple
resources one is the census webpage which is fabulous on this 2020 census
the other one they they’ve launched something been rumors so here you can go
look and see what what are rumors that the Census Bureau is aware of at the
census that’s the Los Angeles regional census centers own number but you can
get a lot more information about how to help the census
from the sense of staff that are here they’ll they’ll give you a lot more
information so that’s it thank you very much okay thank you director Thompson so
we need about a little more than five minutes for questions we’re gonna have
two folks with microphones and so if anybody has any questions if you’ll if
you’ll take questions I’m
so one of the things that you said was about ice following so is there nothing
that can be done about that I mean well like the project managers tell them to
turn around and not go or because that seems like a pretty big issue of Isis
following these trucks around that is a really big issue if I see he decides to
do that the Census Bureau can’t tell ICD what to do
the Census Bureau won’t count someone with anyone around so they won’t do an
enumeration if someone’s standing on either ice or or partnership or a local
partner the Census Bureau believes that is just really important to maintaining
the integrity and the privacy of the census but they can’t tell I I see what
to do they don’t have that authority so it’s it’s an issue Oh could you comment
a little bit in more detail regarding the executive order that the President
issued in July acknowledging that the census that the citizenship question is
not going to be a question and the use however of administrative records to
perhaps reconstruct citizenship and then
incorporate it into the census and it’s that tied into the Maryland litigation
that you refer to sure so that is tied into the Maryland litigation right now
so when the citizenship question was first proposed the Census Bureau
recommended to secretary Ross that the most accurate way to produce the data
was to use administrative records if they had to produce it
secretary Ross ignored that recommendation and ultimately was found
to be arbitrary and capricious so the Census Bureau had done all had done some
really good research that showed that they could actually produce data using
administrative records for citizenship the issue in the executive order was
that we said it should be used for
redistricting there are a lot of concerns that citizenship data could be
misused for redistricting now on the other hand there are cases where the
Department of Justice has you citizenship data to show that there’s
been discriminatory district so for example you could draw what appears to
be a majority Hispanic district but because non-citizens can’t vote it could
really be a minority Hispanic district so that that’s not that’s not proper
either so there are uses for the citizenship data the citizenship data
right now is available from the American Community Survey it’s available down to
what’s called census block groups levels which is which is which is pretty good
so that that’s basically the basis of the lawsuit is that shouldn’t be used
for reform district II yeah you mentioned disinformation campaigns in
your experience with the Census Bureau has this been done either on an
organized individual level before and the second part they of course is are
there everything panel tees for anybody who gets caught doing this kind of
disruption so those are good questions so there wasn’t really an organized
attempt to spread disinformation about the decennial census in fact the first
time it was really organized that we saw us in 2016 so it’s a new phenomena and
the idea is how do you get ready to deal with it you know there’s I’m sure
there’s going to be disinformation again in the 2020 election it’s probably going
to take a different different form and how do you how do you get ready for so
that’s that’s going to be the big issue for the Census Bureau is you know I
think they’re doing everything right they’ve got partnerships with Facebook
they’ve got partnerships with Twitter while the
other eye you know Silicon Valley IT companies social media companies to work
with them to try to combat this and in terms of penalties there might be but it
would be very hard to catch someone who is doing it from outside the United
States for example so it’s it’s very hard to actually find out who exactly is
doing the disinformation I was actually going to ask that question if you talk
to Mark Zuckerberg about this I would also ask do you have the support of
other federal agencies and finding disinformation and then also you
mentioned sort of state cooperation as if possible barrier is do you see are
there is that a big problem is they’re just Alabama that’s a problem and is
that a new also a new problem or is that in that tree over the history so when I
was at the Census Bureau we did not approach the social media company since
then the Census Bureau has approached the social media companies and has some
good partnerships with them so that’s that’s a good thing there were always
some concerns about not counting about not county or illegal residents but they
were never formalized into a lawsuit right now the the only state that is
suing is Alabama there might be other states that would be happy to see
Alabama win there’s also been talk of drawing districts based on citizens only
in fact as part of the litigation against the citizenship question what
came out was that a Republican redistricting had done an analysis of
Texas and showed dramatic swings in the way in districts would appear the
citizens only we used to draw districts so the
citizenship data will be available right now and it could be used by some states
to try to draw districts based only on citizens which would of course be
litigated but again the potential is there to do that hello I just want to follow up on the
question regarding ice in 2010 did the administration’s to spit ice raids
during the census period well yes and no so for both 2000 and 2010 the bureau had
a informal agreement with you know when 2000 was I in asked to equip up with the
the immigration enforcement that they would keep away from Census Bureau vets
they would not stop enforcing the law but they wouldn’t you know come to a
Census Bureau event and do raid that the Census Bureau would be it would be able
to conduct their business apart from the inss and I don’t know if such
arrangements been reached in 2020 what’s the average cost to count the person as
we think about funding so what you could what what some people do is they look at
the allocation for the state and I put up a number there and they divide it by
the state population and say this is what every person represents in terms of
money but the cost the cost of enumerate the people right now is somewhere around
fifteen billion dollars for 2020 it’s not clear if the Census Bureau is going
to spend all that money at this point but that’s what the projected full cycle
cost is and and you you take 330 million people and divide
it into that that’s the cost per person but it costs a lot more for the
non-response follow-up than for the self-response it’s it’s the biggest part of the census
$15,000,000,000 I mean there there’s there’s what you paid the enumerators
but then there’s the infrastructure you have to build up so it probably
represents maybe 10 billion 10 billion or the 15 billion something something of
that order of magnitude so it’s really expensive to do that
operation and that’s why the more you can get people to self-respond the less
expensive it will be and the more accurate the census will be Sweeney
we’ve got one final question and then we’re going to go to a three to four
minute five minute break before that I discuss a panel I had a question about
the rumors email that you showed are they just like if we come across a
disinformation campaign and we email them or they’re just collecting or do
you know if there’s some kind of a rapid response team that will be oh yeah
they’re coming to us I do know they have a rapid response team so yeah so they’re
there they’re prepared and it’s not just for for this information I mean when you
do a census lots of issues come up and they in each census there’s been a rapid
response team that that’s that that’s ready to deal with with virtually any
issue great thank you another round of
applause for former director Thompson