Central Falls and the 2020 Census: Everybody Counts / Todos Cuentan

Background

Central Falls Mayor James Diossa speaks against including a citizenship question on the U.S. Census in 2020. Credit Ian Donnis

Central Falls is using all of the tools available to ensure that every Central Falls resident is counted in the 2020 Census: as the U.S. Constitution requires.  This is important because federal funding for Central Falls education, housing and health care is based on the number of people counted in the Census.

On April 2, 2018, Central Falls Mayor James Diossa convened a press conference to speak out against the decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.  At that event, he stated that, "this isn’t about immigration policy or partisan politics. We are here because the federal government has taken steps that make it harder for the upcoming Census to get an accurate count for all people in the United States.”

In addition, the City of Central Falls is suing the Census Bureau in a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York regarding the federal government's attempt to add the citizenship question. The lawsuit alleges that the Constitution requires the government to count every person -- not every citizen -- and that the question will drive down responses in immigrant communities, creating an undercount and depriving cities of political representation and money for education, health care and housing.

With generous funding from the Rhode Island Foundation, the City of Central Falls also became the only city in Rhode Island to engage in LUCA canvassing: a grassroots update to the City's residential address records in partnership with Community Connect Labs.

 align=On June 2, 2018, the City of Central Falls partnered with Common Cause of RI on a one-mile "Test Run"  to raise awareness about the Census test run and the 2020 Census.

Later in the summer, Mayor Diossa agreed to join the efforts of the National Latino Elected Officials and the National League of Cities in building a network across the country to ensure Census success in 2020.

Finally, the City is partnering with many other community partners to convene a statewide Complete Count Committee to ensure that every Rhode Islander is counted in 2020.  For more information, contact City Solicitor Matt Jerzyk at 401-616-2435 or MJerzyk@CentralFallsRI.us

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