Top Ten Questions on the Census To Ask Commerce Secretary Evans

Mar 6, 2001
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney released the following "Top Ten Questions on the Census to Ask Commerce Secretary Evans" at his Commerce Department press conference today:

Questions:

10. Will you voluntarily release all of the data that the Census Bureau has compiled, particularly: the detailed information listing gross over-counts and undercounts; the total number of errors in the Census; and the block level corrected data that has been completed; or will you require states, localities and scientists wanting the information to sue you under the Freedom of Information Act as they had to do under your predecessor Secretary Robert Mosbacher?

9. President Bush spoke to the Democratic Issues Retreat and said he had not been " briefed" on the Rule. Why didn't anyone tell him about "the deal," as reported in The Wall Street Journal just a few days later, indicating that you, Mr. Secretary, would kill corrected numbers if the Census Bureau recommended releasing them?

8. In evaluating the 2000 Census, the Census Bureau has not yet said that uncorrected data is more accurate than corrected data. The Bureau has only said it didn't have time to know for sure. Will you let the Bureau complete its efforts unhindered and as quickly as possible to resolve the Bureau's questions?

7. How do you assume that the raw numbers are more accurate than the corrected numbers when, in fact, the Census Bureau uses the results of the Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation to show that the raw count missed more than 3 million Americans?

6. There is still a differential undercount. It will result in Blacks, Hispanics, Asian Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and children being missed in legislative districts above the national average and it will result in affluent people being counted twice -- leading to an unfair distribution of federal funds. Why do you believe it is acceptable for Americans to live with this discrepancy for ten more years?

5. What are you going to do about people still being uncounted in Census 2000?

4. Will you use modern statistical methods to correct the undercount for purposes of allocating federal funds in the future?

3. What is an acceptable level of missed people in the Census?

2. Section 195 of the Census Act says you "shall" use sampling if "feasible." Isn't it feasible to use sampling?

1. Upon hearing the news that the professionals at the Census Bureau were unable in the time allotted to count the millions of people who had been left out of the Census, Republicans at the Census Subcommittee released a smug statement with the headline "Game , Set, Match." Do you believe this response by Republicans in Congress minimized the seriousness of millions of minorities, people living below the poverty line, and children being uncounted?

In addition to the questions listed above, Mrs. Maloney released the following statement today:

"I hope that the Administration will release the detailed information that the Census has compiled as part of its decision making process. If the Census Bureau has more work to resolve the 2000 Census' 'undetected problems,' making the detailed information available to the public could bring critical help to ensure the counting of those who are still left out of the Census.

"I would hope that the Secretary will tell the American people that he will continue to pursue making the Census as accurate as possible and that unlike what happened in Florida we won't let the clock run out on counting people."

 

###