Resolution on the 2000 Census

Whereas the federal decennial census is a means of ensuring fair and equal representation in government for all Americans; and

Whereas census data is used to conduct congressional, state and local redistricting; allocate $180 billion in annual federal funds for health, education, transportation and many other programs; monitor and enforce civil rights statutes, including anti-discrimination, employment, housing and education laws; and

Whereas the 1990 census undercounted over 8.4 million people and double counted 4.4 million persons; and

Whereas an inaccurate census denies miscounted persons fair and equal representation in government; and

Whereas the Commerce Department’s Inspector General, U.S. General Accounting Office, and experts convened by the National Academy of Science all agree that the Census Bureau’s inability to use sampling in Census 2000 will result in the census missing many and possibly more persons that the 1990 census; and

Whereas civil rights organizations strongly support the use of sampling in Census 2000; and

Whereas the Supreme Court ruled against the use of sampling for congressional apportionment but declared that it can be used for purposes such as redistricting within states and the allocation of federal funds, as long as the Secretary of Commerce determines that the use of sampling is “feasible”; and

Whereas in practical terms, the Supreme Court’s ruling, actually requires two sets of census numbers. One set from a direct count supplemented with a post-enumeration survey where sampling can be used to enhance the accuracy of the census. The more accurate adjusted numbers would be used for all purposes other than congressional apportionment and a second set of less accurate, unadjusted numbers of use in determining congressional apportionment; and

Whereas Pride At Work/AFL-CIO believes that the more accurate census numbers will be used for everything including congressional apportionment, since these would be available; and

Therefore, Be It Resolved that this Pride At Work 3rd Biennial Convention and Labor Conference meeting in Washington D.C. from February 12-15, 1999 pledge its support for the use of sampling in Census 2000 to ensure a full, and fair census and the use of the most accurate count for all purposes, including apportionment; and

And Be It Further Resolved that Pride At Work petition members of Congress to support “A Just Apportionment for All States Act” to amend Title 13 U.S.C to guarantee a full, and fair census, including sampling and also urge all members and supporters to write to their congressional representative to ask them to support the bill;

And Be It Further Resolved that Pride At Work take steps to ensure labor representation on Local Census Count Boards; recruit members for Census Bureau positions at all levels; and work in partnership with labor, civil rights advocacy groups and community-based organizations on campaign to ensure a full, and fair census, including sampling.