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As I See It

Now is the time to fix census

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Despite the importance of the job, it seems we aren’t very good at it. Every ten years the United States conducts a census, designed to be an accurate count of the country’s population, and where they live. That information then determines, for example, how many seats a state gets in Congress, and how trillions in federal funding is allocated. The process is key to how our political system operates. But it turns out the census folks aren’t doing such a great job. The 2020 Census ended up under-counting the U.S. population by nearly 19 million people. There are other issues affecting the count. A big one is political interference. Former President Trump tried to force the Census Bureau to not count anyone living in the United States who is not currently authorized to live here. It took the Supreme Court to say no. Ultimately, Trump ended the count early. Is it any wonder not everyone got counted? Congress should work to fix the census process by establishing the Census Bureau its own executive agency, rather than under the umbrella of the Department of Commerce. Give it a director that has the final authority, keeping the political appointees out of it. Because if we don’t take action now, we should expect another inaccurate count when the next census is undertaken.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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