Posted on June 15, 2018
LGBTQ people in the U.S. must be counted in the census
Although this administration continually refuses to recognize it, LGBTQ people across the nation have celebrated June as Pride Month since transgender women of color and other activists fought for their lives at the Stonewall Riots in 1969. Pride Month is a time when many LGBTQ people feel emboldened to partake in joy publicly and show the nation the strength and size of our communities. Pride Month is when many of us feel visible.
And though it’s incredibly important to feel visible, we have an incredible opportunity to be visible as well.
Most people think of the census as a long, boring survey they have to fill out because some census person will not stop coming to the front door. But, these people are tasked with ensuring every household completes the census because it is critical that every person is counted. Results from the census are used to determine aspects of our democracy and social services funding for an entire decade. Through the census, we can have an impact on how many seats in the House of Representatives a state receives and how district lines are drawn. We determine how $675 billion is distributed for important programs our communities use, such as Medicaid, Section 8 housing vouchers and SNAP.
To hold that power, LGBTQ people in the United States must be counted in the census, but the Trump administration is taking steps to stop us from being counted. It has slashed funding for the 2020 census and has significantly delayed outreach and partnership plans to ensure people who were historically undercounted in the census are counted. It has also added a dangerous and racist question about citizenship status that could cause dramatic undercounting of immigrant communities and communities of color
We deserve to be represented, we deserve to have funding for our needs and we deserve to be visible.
As this administration continues to cut funding to the 2020 census, the ones who are hurt the most are communities of color, LGBTQ communities, people experiencing homelessness and young people. An entire 10 years of funding and representation rests on our shoulders, and it’s up to us to be counted.
There is hope this year. As advocates nationwide work to register voters, move congressional seats into the progressive column, and engage in civic participation, people are working hard to create change under this administration. This is one of the most important midterm elections of our lifetime. Our voices, individually and collectively, hold tremendous power, and the 2020 census can be our way of showing the administration just that.
Taissa Morimoto currently works on criminal and economic justice, democracy, and census advocacy as policy counsel at the National LGBTQ Task Force, an organization fighting to advance the full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people and for a world where you can be you. Over the years, CREDO members voted to donate over $460,000 to the National LGBTQ Task Force. To learn more about who we fund and vote on how we distribute our donations, visit CREDOdonations.com.