Mayor Bill de Blasio joined 160 other mayors from across the country in a letter to the federal government Tuesday, urging it to ensure the upcoming census count is conducted thoroughly and fairly.
The letter from United States Conference of Mayors to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stressed that the 2020 count is important for their municipalities as it determines the amount of funding for everything from hospitals to road repair. De Blasio said the bipartisan coalition is also concerned about the request from the Justice Department to add questions about immigration to the survey.
“A fair and accurate census is constitutionally mandated . . . which is why I’m teaming up with bipartisan mayors across the country to insist that Secretary Ross recognize the importance of the task at hand and protect the count from partisanship and ideology,” he said in a statement.
The commerce department, which didn’t return messages for comment, has until March 31 to submit Census questions to Congress.
The coalition made three requests to the agency in their letter.
First, they called for over $1.6 billion in additional funding for more census workers and training.
They also urged the commerce department to chose a “Census Director and Census Bureau Deputy Director who will continue the tradition of nonpartisan, experienced, and strong leadership,” according to the letter.
Finally, the mayors asked for any census questions that relate to citizenship be removed.
“Such a question would increase the burden on respondents, likely heighten privacy concerns around the census, and lower participation by immigrants who fear the government will use this information to harm them and their families,” the coalition wrote.