Congress Members Express Concerns About Politicizing the U.S. 2020 Census

The following is a message sent by Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee:

The 2020 US Census has already experienced a number of problems, including going to the US Supreme Court over a citizenship question, inadequate funding, and a delay in the contractor contracts. Now there is concern expressed in an article in the New York Times that two new top level positions were filled with outside the agency political appointments which is unprecedented –and that is what is raising concerns about making the census partisan.

Until now only the Director of the Census Bureau, its Congressional liaison and its spokesperson have been political appointees. “For decades, the agency’s directors and top managers have been career statisticians, economists and survey methodologists — sometimes eminent ones.”  The new appointees are:

Nathaniel T. Cogley, a professor who heads the government department at a Texas university, who will take a new position as deputy director for policy.  His résumé  lists many appearances on television and radio programs as a commentator on political issues and more.

Adam Korzeniewski, will be Cogley’s senior advisor. His Linked-In page lists him as a former political consultant for Republican candidates who most recently worked for the Census Bureau in a field job in New York.  The Linked-In page has since been taken down.

The article in the New York Times includes comments by Congresspersons and a former Census Bureau head about the appointments as “disturbing” and away from the traditional non-partisan aspect of the census. The concern is that the appointees will seek to skew the 2020 census totals in an inaccurate way,  by the need to accurately count the nation’s hardest-to-reach residents.

The decennial census is mandated in the US constitution to be taken every ten years.  The first US census was taken in 1790.To read the press release announcing the appointments see:

https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2020/statement-new-staff.html

To read the New York Times article see:  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/23/us/census-bureau-cogley-korzeniewski.html

To access the previous postings about the 2020 US Census see the IAJGS Records Access Alert archives at: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/private/records-access-alerts  You must be registered to access the archives. To register for the IAJGS Records Access Alert go to: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/listinfo/records-access-alerts.  You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized. It is required to include your organization affiliation (genealogy organization, etc.)

7 Comments

I find anything reported by the New York Times to be so biased as to have little to no journalistic value and therefore to be distrusted and dismissed. The citizenship question was valid to both Federal funding priorities and of course our future genealogists.

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    I guess if you scream “fake news” it absolves you from your responsibility as a citizen to care what is actually happening in your government and with your tax dollars.

    Liked by 1 person

    From time to time I see comments that claim that the NYT is somehow biased. I keep searching for evidence of that bias, and to date I have found nothing. I am in total disagreement with the original post here.

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I agree with the original post. I’m surprised this post is here. It screams to have political comments. I like my genealogy neutral.

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    —> I’m surprised this post is here.

    Any time there is news concerning census records, especially news about questioning the accuracy of census records, you can expect to see an article about the issue in this newsletter. That’s true for ANY genealogy-related news, whether I agree with that news or not. News is news and I hope to always deliver the news whenever it appears. Is it accurate news? Are there questions concerning the news? I will leave that to the reader to decide. However, I see my task as always delivering all the news that concerns genealogy-related issues, again whether I agree with that news or not.

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    So it wasn’t newsworthy when these appointments to new positions were made, or when the positions were created – it only became “news” when democrat politicians attacked them as part of their overall 2020 political campaign. Talk about spin!

    Like

Thank you for reporting the latest news on the Census.

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