Common Cause Rhode Island Congratulates former Gov. Gina Raimondo on her Confirmation as U.S. Commerce Secretary in Time to Oversee Final Stages of the Census

Statement of Common Cause Rhode Island Executive Director John Marion

Common Cause Rhode Island congratulates Secretary Raimondo on her Senate confirmation, and we hope that she will prioritize final stages of the 2020 Census.

Last year’s Census was unlike any other: it included the first use of online self-response technology, and it took place during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It’s important to get the Census right, because the nation will depend on that data for the next 10 years. Census data is the foundation of congressional apportionment, and most states use it for drawing legislative district lines. But it is also used by more than 100 federal programs to guide financial assistance allocation; it’s used by public health agencies to understand health trends; school departments use the data to forecast the need for new schools; private businesses mine the data for market research purposes; and it’s used in many different ways by other stakeholders.

Common Cause Rhode Island worked with Secretary Raimondo on Census 2020 outreach in Rhode Island. She spoke up early with concerns about then-President Trump’s effort to unconstitutionally exclude undocumented immigrants. She worked to raise awareness of the Census Bureau’s end-to-end test which was held in Providence County in 2018. She formed Rhode Island’s first-ever statewide “Complete Count Committee” to ensure that all Rhode Islanders would be included in 2020 Census data — including members of communities that are traditionally “hard to count.” And she included money in her state budget to help fund outreach efforts. 

Secretary Raimondo understands the importance of having accurate Census data. We expect   that she will ensure that the country receives fair and accurate 2020 Census data and will successfully lead the Bureau in the production of all data products important to the health and wealth of our democracy.