In just 17 days, every household in the country will start to receive an invitation in the mail to complete the Census, and we want to make sure that LGBTQ+ people feel ready to respond when that happens. As I’m sure you know, the Census doesn’t include questions about sexual orientation or gender identity (though it does collect some data about same-sex couples), so our community may be conflicted about participation – they may also be hesitant to respond whether they simply don’t have enough information or they fear responding. We’re invested in overcoming that hesitation because the decennial Census is so important to:
- Democracy – the Census determines how many representatives each state has in Congress, and drives redistricting at the federal, state, and local level. We want to make sure that the communities where our people live are fully counted, so that we can keep building political power.
- Funding – the Census drives more than a billion dollars in federal funding each year for programs that our community disproportionately needs, like food stamps, Medicaid, public housing, HIV/AIDS services, and more. A complete count today means more services for our communities for the next ten years.
- Civil rights – Census data are used to enforce nondiscrimination protections, as well as other civil rights like access to voting. Especially as the Supreme Court and Congress weigh in on sexual orientation and gender identity protections in the next year, we need to make sure our people respond to the Census so we can begin to enforce the rights we’ve won.
We know that your organization is a trusted voice in the community, which is the most effective tool for getting folks to respond to the Census.
It’s not too late to get involved with Census engagement if you haven’t already, and the National LGBTQ Task Force wants to make that as easy as possible for you by providing resources, template social media tools, and anything else you need! Do you have the information you need to field questions from your members about the Census? Do you want to participate in Census related trainings? Do you want to schedule some one-on-one time to discuss how you can get involved? Contact Victoria from the National LGBTQ Task Force at firstname.lastname@example.org.