Maloney Statement on Release of First Census 2000 Numbers Urges New Administration to Disclose its Plans for Future Releases and "Leave No Child Behind"
WASHINGTON, DC - Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), ranking Democrat on the House Census subcommittee, released the following statement today on the release of the first numbers from the 2000 Census.
"First, let me congratulate the Census Bureau, Director Prewitt, the career professionals at the Bureau, and the almost one million Americans who answered the call to help with this civic Ceremony. Despite the inside the beltway naysayers and constant unrelenting attacks by some, it is clear that Census 2000 is an operational success and the Census staff along with all of the Americans who cooperated with the census deserve the credit.
"Coming from a state that is not growing as fast as others and will likely lose representation in Congress due to today's announcement, I can say that it is hard to see it happen. But that is why the Constitution requires this 'civic ceremony' every ten years, to fairly distribute political representation across the country.
"That is why the issue of who will make the decision on the release of more detailed census data, due this March, that will be used for redistricting and distribution of federal funds is so important.
"Who makes the final decision to use corrected Census data or to use uncorrected data is perhaps even more important than the decision itself. We will not know until the Accuracy Coverage Evaluation ( A.C.E.) is released just how accurate today's numbers really are.
"So this decision must be done in a way that instills confidence in its fairness and accuracy.
"If you asked the average American who should make the decision on what Census data is more accurate-- politicians or scientists-- they would say that it should be scientists.
"That is why I am again calling on President-elect Bush to disclose to us before he takes office, who will make future decisions on what data gets released, the Census bureau or politicians? Especially after what occurred in the election in Florida, we need to have confidence that these decisions will be made based on science and not on politics.
" I will be circulating a letter next week among my colleagues in the House, urging the Senate not to confirm Commerce Secretary Designee Don Evans, President- elect Bush's, campaign chairman, until the new administration tells us what their plans are on this issue of basic fairness.
"I need to remind the new administration that half of those missed in 1990 Census were children. Is the President-elect and his administration ready to admit that all children deserve to be counted, to receive their fair share of the federal grants and programs disbursed to the rest of us every year? Who will make the decision whether they are counted or not? He will not say. We must ask the President-elect and his Commerce Secretary designee whether the new administration plans to live up to its promise to "leave no child behind."