The Supreme Court of the United States made the right call in its ruling to block the citizenship question for now. The citizenship question was intended to be used as a scare tactic, clearly intended to suppress participation in immigrant communities and communities of color. We applaud the Court’s decision and hope that the question will be blocked permanently. At the same time, the threat of this question has already created fear of participating in the census among many communities. In Washington state, all of us will need to step up to ensure every person is counted. Because regardless of the color of our skin, every Washingtonian deserves to be counted in the census.
Washington’s advocates have been gearing up to address fear, fight disinformation, and make sure their families and neighbors have all the information needed to participate in the census. Earlier this year, community organizations successfully stood up to the Trump administration’s attempts to sabotage the census by cutting census funding and staff, winning $15 million for community-based census outreach in state funds. This victory shows the power of Washington’s grassroots activism to challenge the Trump Administration’s racially divisive policies, which are aimed at excluding people of color from democracy.
Looking ahead, we will need to continue to spread accurate information about the importance of a complete and accurate census. This is more than one person filling out a form and being counted in the census; this is about our collective power, democracy, and well-being. Counting all of our communities will secure Washington’s fair share of political representation and federal funding for health care, reliable infrastructure, and other vital services in the years ahead.