Census 2020 is topic of Sept. 17 discussion

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September 4, 2019

Rachel Dame

Rachel Dame

Rachel Dame will discuss the 2020 U.S. Census at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17 – Constitution Day - in the Centenary Room (room 264), Quadrangle Building, Saint John’s University.

The discussion, which will be moderated by Dr. Christi Siver, Farry Professor and associate professor of political science at CSB and SJU, is free and open to the public.

“We all count. Will we all be counted?” is the theme of the discussion, which will explore and understand the purpose of the U.S. Census. The session will also explore what the census means for communities across the U.S. as well as the individual’s role and impact on their own community. This event will kick off a campus-wide initiative regarding the 2020 Census leading into the count next spring. 

Dame is the 2020 Census project manager for Minnesota.

Constitution Day marks the day the Constitution was signed on Sept. 17, 1787. The Constitution recognizes and celebrates all U.S. citizens and the ideals of liberty, but also laid the groundwork for the U.S. Census.

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers. Population, in spirit of equity and democracy, became the basis for sharing political power,” according to Article 1, Section 2 of the document.

The U.S. Census is a survey done every 10 years that counts the U.S. population. Its original purpose was to fairly divide the seats of the House of Representatives among the states, based on population.

However, it has evolved and changed to also serve the purpose of benefitting communities via federal funds and grants based on factors such as sex, age and race.

Specifically for Minnesota, the count will determine the distribution of billions of dollars to Minnesota’s communities, determine political representation for the next decade and provide data that shapes how Minnesota’s policymakers and business leaders decide to invest public and private resources.

Participation is what ensures communities get the most out of the census. The census is most accurate when it counts everyone, and when everyone responds.

This discussion is presented by the Political Science Department.