Planning for the 2030 Census is underway, and responses to the ongoing American Community Survey (ACS) are decreasing, so philanthropy has an important role to play in addressing the Census Bureau's persistent undercounting of people of color, young children, and other under-represented populations. An accurate population count is the foundation for full access to our democracy, as well as for the fair and effective allocation of public and philanthropic resources. The decennial census and ACS undergird voting rights policies and litigation, drive redistricting decisions, and shape access to polling places, in-language ballot materials, and voting assistance.
Building on the unprecedented collaboration of hundreds of funders and more than 1,000 nonprofit leaders that came together to promote an accurate 2020 Census, funders and practitioners expressed a strong desire to make this work "evergreen" – that is, a multiyear, ongoing civic engagement activity given many decisions about the decennial census are made early in the decade, and the level of outreach required by trusted voices in the communities that the Bureau persistently undercounts.
This session will provide an opportunity for PSO staff and funders to learn about the critical issues currently facing the census and American Community Survey (ACS), the roadmap ahead, and how PSOs and funders can play a critical role as trusted leaders in their communities. The panel will cover current key policy issues such as federal resource allocations, questions around race and ethnicity, questions about sexual orientation and gender identity, prison gerrymandering, and policies to address the undercount of young children. The panel will also highlight the road ahead, including the critical role of PSOs.