Population scientists, such as demographers, sociologists, economists, in the public, private, and academic sectors rely on decennial census data to conduct an array of scientific and applied research and research training activities. Despite their diverse research expertise, population scientists share a common need for access to accurate, timely data about the nation’s changing socio-economic and demographic characteristics that only the U.S. Census Bureau can provide through its conduct of the decennial census. Therefore, ensuring the integrity of decennial data and supporting an independent Census Bureau are major priorities for our organizations.
Given our strong support of the Census Bureau and its mission, the Population Association of America and Association of Population Centers were alarmed by the Census Bureau Director’s recent announcement regarding the creation of two new political positions, Deputy Director of Policy and a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Director for Policy, to “help the Census Bureau achieve a complete and accurate 2020 Census and study future improvements.” Given that the self-response phase of the 2020 Census is almost complete and years of careful plans are being executed, the creation of these high-level political positions at this juncture is questionable and lacks adequate justification. Further, it is not clear either of the appointees have the appropriate credentials or experience for filling these high-level positions and their stated purpose.
We join other professional scientific societies in asking Director Dillingham to provide a rationale for the creation of these positions. In addition, we urge Congress to exercise its oversight authority and examine the appointment of these individuals and to ensure that ongoing plans to conduct an accurate, inclusive 2020 Census are not derailed by these dubious political appointments.
Dr. Eileen Crimmins, President, Population Association of AmericaDr. Kathleen Cagney, President Association of Population Centers
1436 Duke Street Alexandria, VA 22314 Phone: 301-565-6710 Fax: 301-565-7850
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