Opinion - The Census, Politicized
To the Editor:
Re “Census Sabotage,” by David Leonhardt (column, nytimes.com, Feb. 9): I couldn’t agree more about just how important the 2020 census is and what is at stake if we get it wrong.
With the next census just two years away, the Trump administration has still not nominated a director but has been filling traditionally nonpartisan positions with political hacks.
The White House adviser Kellyanne Conway’s former pollster has been added to the census payroll, and until recently the administration even flirted with giving the deputy director position, which has always been filled by an experienced civil servant, to a Republican redistricting expert with no census experience.
The administration is trying to add a last-minute question about citizenship that the Census Bureau’s own research shows will lower response rates and make the census less accurate and more expensive.
It’s hard not to conclude that some in the Trump administration want to sabotage the 2020 census for political purposes.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. should reject these efforts. Our democracy depends on it. Our economy depends on it. And our Constitution requires it.
CAROLYN B. MALONEY
The writer, a New York Democrat, is co-chairwoman of the House Census Caucus.