MIRA calls on Congress to ensure accurate count by moving reporting deadline from Dec. 31, 2020 to April 2021
BOSTON – MIRA today announced that the 2020 Census self-response rate in Massachusetts exceeded the 2010 rate. Despite unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, an abrupt end to the count and attempts to exclude immigrants from the count, the self-response rate in Massachusetts was 69.3 percent, compared to 68.8 percent in 2010.
“MIRA is extremely proud of the hard work of advocates and organizers across the Commonwealth who stepped up and persevered through significant odds to ensure a fair and accurate census count in Massachusetts,” said Eva Millona, President and CEO of MIRA and Chair of the Statewide Complete Count Committee. “Our work here is not done – we are still facing attempts to exclude undocumented immigrants from apportionment and undermine the accuracy of the count. Congress must act to ensure that the quality of the count meets the highest standards.”
“The Census helps guide the distribution of $1.5 trillion in annual federal funding for health care, education, infrastructure, first responders, businesses, and other vital services,” said Senator Ed Markey. “Despite the bad faith efforts made by the Trump administration to reduce the accuracy of the count, the All-Star lineup of Complete Count Committees, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, the Massachusetts Census Equity Fund, MassCounts, and other partners mobilized with one mission in mind – count everyone, because everyone counts. I thank them for their tremendous commitment to ensuring that we receive our fair share of resources.”
“Thousands of dedicated workers and volunteers have worked for months and overcome countless obstacles created by a global pandemic to ensure that as many Massachusetts residents were counted in the 2020 Census as possible,” said Congresswoman Lori Trahan. “We simply cannot stand by and allow their hard work to be in vain because the Trump Administration wants to rush to report an inaccurate count by December 31st. I stand with the MIRA Coalition, my colleagues, and our partners in demanding that Congress vote to extend the reporting deadline to April 2021.”
“Community organizations used their creativity and relationships to get out the count in the 2020 Census,” said Beth Huang, Director of the Massachusetts Voter Table and convener of MassCounts, the grassroots census coalition. “Trusted leaders met the everyday needs of residents in COVID-19 hotspots while sharing the message about why the census and the future of their communities matter. This is the type of responsive grassroots leadership that will help us solve problems and overcome challenges in the next decade.”
“The Massachusetts Census Equity Fund is proud to have been a part of ensuring that the most trusted partners in our hardest to count communities across the Commonwealth had the resources they needed to make sure that every person counted in the 2020 Census,” said Alexie Torres, Executive Director of the Access Strategies Fund and Chair of the Massachusetts Census Equity Fund. “The Massachusetts’ philanthropic community plans to continue this work. Now, more than ever, we all must show up and do our part to protect our fragile democracy.”
“The Brazilian Women’s Group was proud to work with MIRA and our partners to ensure an accurate count, especially in historically undercounted communities,” said Heloisa Maria Galvão, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Brazilian Women’s Group. “This successful result is a tribute to the tireless work of the organizers and advocates who kept pushing despite many challenges. This result will also show that our community rose to the occasion.”
“The importance of the census cannot be overstated – it determines Congressional representation and key funding for schools, public health and more,” said Dr. Geralde V. Gabeau, MPH, Executive Director of Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI-USA). “The Immigrant Family Services Institute is grateful to all of our partners who stepped up to ensure that everyone was counted, including immigrant communities.”
“The census count in Massachusetts was truly a team effort and no matter what challenges were thrown our way, we persevered because we knew this was too important not to get right,” said Dieufort J. Fleurissaint, President of the True Alliance Center. “The True Alliance Center was proud to be a part of this team and ensure an accurate count, especially among long undercounted communities.”
MIRA’s census outreach efforts included leading educational and outreach training in all six regions across the state, ongoing support and briefings to partners and making 276,645 phone calls with MassCounts nonprofit partners over seven months. MIRA hosted phone banking and text banking sessions, designed and launched digital ads in historically undercounted cities, and held 22 Census Chats highlighting the work of community organizations across the state.
MIRA urged that despite these positive results, their work is not finished to ensure an accurate count. MIRA is calling on Congress to ensure that the quality of the count meets the highest standards by extending the reporting deadline from December 31, 2020 to April 2021.