CENSUS 2000 UPDATES
JUNE 1998

Table of Contents

  1. Census 2000 Update, March 3, 1998
  2. Census 2000 Update, April 1, 1998
  3. Census 2000 Update, April 28, 1998
  4. Census 2000 Update, May 22, 1998
  5. Census 2000 Update, June 1, 1998
  6. Census 2000 Update, June 8, 1998
  7. NADO NEWS, June 5, 1998
  8. Census 2000 Update, June 15, 1998
  9. Census 2000 Update, June 22, 1998
  10. Census 2000 Update, June 26, 1998
  11. Census 2000 Update, July 9, 1998
  12. Census 2000 Update, July 15, 1998
  13. Census 2000 Update, July 16, 1998 Correction, 1998
  14. Census 2000 Update, July 21, 1998
  15. Census 2000 Update, July 31, 1998
  16. Census 2000 Update, August 6, 1998
  17. Census 2000 Update, August 24, 1998
  18. Census 2000 Update, September 2, 1998
  19. Census 2000 Update, September 10, 1998
Interested in keeping up with Census 2000 Developments? The RED TAPE Editor has decided to archive Census Bureau News Alerts until the Census 2000 Initiative Web Site is completed. You can only print so much in the paper version of RED TAPE!


(1) Census 2000 Update, March 3, 1998


Chairman Miller Says 2000 Census Headed Toward Failure

Rep. Dan Miller (R-FL), chairman of the census oversight subcommittee, chastised the Clinton Administration for designing a census without approval from Congress. In a press conference today, Chairman Miller echoed themes from a February 24th statement on the House floor that "we are headed for a failed Census," and said that Congress "intend[s] to pay for [a] traditional Census that is transparent and fair."

Comparing the process of designing the 2000 census with the Administration's failed effort to overhaul the health care system, the congressman said that the Census Bureau didn't think it needed congressional approval for its new design because its "complicated, untested Census plan [was] created by 'experts'." He also called the Administration's failure to request funds in its Fiscal Year 1999 budget request for a census that doesn't include sampling "another slap in the face to the Congress." Chairman Miller noted that the 2000 census would cost almost $4 billion; the Census Bureau has said that a census without sampling methods would cost nearly $5 billion.

The census subcommittee will start oversight hearings later this month (dates and subject matters TBA). The panel will be moving into its permanent offices shortly; the address will be: Subcommittee on the Census, 114 O'Neill House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515; telephone: (202) 226-1973.


Executive Branch News: Commerce IG Says Time Pressures Put Census At Risk

The Commerce Department Inspector General (IG) has concluded in a new report to Congress that the tight time schedule for census preparations and implementation may keep the Census Bureau from achieving its goals of improving accuracy and containing costs in the 2000 census.

In a December 30, 1997, report to Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, IG Frank DeGeorge (who has since retired) said that the 2000 census design is "risky," but did not suggest that changing any one component of the plan would ensure the success of the undertaking. (The Census 2000 Initiative only recently obtained a copy of the report, which was not widely distributed.) Rather, the IG recommended that the Bureau simplify its design, assess the readiness of the different parts of the plan, and reexamine costs. The Bureau will need additional funds, the IG said, or the quality of the census could suffer. He also noted that the continued disagreement between Congress and the Administration over the use of sampling has added to the time constraints facing the Bureau.

The IG cited several census operations that are most at risk. They include:

The IG noted that the Census Bureau will need an additional $108.7 million next year to complete the Master Address File by sending enumerators to canvass neighborhoods and rural communities, as it did for the 1990 census. He also noted that full funding for the new data capture equipment, which is being developed by a private contractor, is essential to ensure that the system will work as planned. The new system will electronically scan a billion pages in 100 days.


Legal Update: Los Angeles Set to Defend 2000 Census Plan In Court

The City of Los Angeles said that it will defend the Census Bureau's 2000 census plan, which includes the use of sampling and statistical methods, in two lawsuits filed in February that challenge the constitutionality and legality of those methods. City Attorney Jim Hahn announced at a press conference today that the law firm of O'Melveny & Meyers will represent the city on a pro bono basis. The city will seek to intervene as a party on the government's side.

Hahn called the two lawsuits "pure, unabashed, partisan politics," and said that, "Since sampling would bring us closer to an accurate count of how many people there are in this country, saying that the technique violates the Constitution makes no sense whatsoever." The Los Angeles City Council must authorize the legal action.

Los Angeles was a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed during the 1990 census that sought a statistical adjustment of the census numbers to correct undercounts and overcounts identified through a post-census survey. The Supreme Court ultimately upheld the decision of then-Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher not to adjust the 1990 census counts.

Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at (202) 434-8756 or, by e-mail, at TerriAnnL@aol.com. Please feel free to circulate this information to colleagues and other interested individuals.

Source: Linda Gage, State Data Center Listserve, March 3, 1998; redistributed by Beverly Railsback, U. S. Documents Librarian, New Jersey State Library, P. O. Box 520, Trenton, N. J. 08625-0520; Phone: 609-292-6259; Fax: 609-984-7900; E-mail: railsbac@njsl.tesc.edu on DOX_NJ, March 4, 1998.

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(2) Census 2000 Update, April 1, 1998


Census Questions for 2000 Sent to Congress

Two years before Census Day, the Census Bureau has sent to Congress the questions it plans to ask in 2000. The submission of the "actual questions," required by law, comes one year after the Bureau notified Congress of the subjects that will be covered on both the so-called "short form," which goes to all households, and the "long form," which is sent to an average of one in six households as an add-on to the short form.

The 2000 short form will include seven questions, six related to population characteristics and one related to housing (whether the respondents own or rent their home), a reduction of nearly 50 percent from the 13 questions on the 1990 short form.

The long form (which also incorporates the questions on the short form) will have a total of 52 questions on a wide range of subjects, compared to 57 questions on the 1990 long form. Only one new topic has been added since 1990; the welfare reform law required the collection of data on grandparents who are primary caregivers for their grandchildren. The race question includes a significant change in wording that allows respondents to check off more than one race. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is developing guidelines for the tabulation of multiple responses to the race question.

All of the census forms provide space for up to five residents to report their information. Households with more than five people will be asked to list the additional residents (up to a total of 12), so that census takers can follow up to collect the information either by telephone or in person. In its press announcement, the Census Bureau noted that the 2000 census forms will be easier to read and understand, with larger type and short statements about how census data is used to benefit communities.

The Census Bureau plans to print over 300 million questionnaires. There will be about 120 million households in 2000; the Bureau's current plan calls for mailing two forms (the first form and a replacement questionnaire) to all residences. The Bureau also plans to put "Be Counted" forms in public places, such as post offices and convenience stores, to maximize opportunities for people to participate in the census. The Bureau's timeline calls for the questionnaire printing contract to be awarded by December 1998. The printing must begin in April 1999 in order to have the forms ready for the start of the census in mid-March of 2000.


Stakeholders Mark Two-Year Countdown to Census

Meanwhile, the co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on the Census marked the two-year countdown to Census Day on April 1 with a press conference to build support for the Census Bureau's plan for 2000. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) were joined by several Members of Congress and stakeholder organizations, including the National Urban League, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, and MALDEF, in renewing their support for the use of sampling to supplement direct counting methods, which they said don't work anymore standing alone. Rep. Shays said there is no evidence that the use of statistical methods will hurt Republicans in the redistricting process.

Legal update: House of Representatives Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO) announced that he and five other Democratic representatives have moved to intervene in the two lawsuits challenging the use of sampling in the 2000 census. In a prepared statement, Rep. Gephardt said that he wanted to send a message that not all members of the House agreed with Speaker Newt Gingrich's opposition to sampling. "Improving the accuracy of the census through the use of sampling is essential" because the traditional method of enumeration disproportionately missed minorities and rural Americans," Gephardt said. Joining the Minority Leader in his legal action are Reps. Danny Davis (D-IL), Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), and Bennie Thompson (D-MS).

Stakeholder activities: The President of the American Statistical Association (ASA) wrote to White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles to urge a speedy nomination for Census Bureau director. Dr. David Moore urged the President to appoint "a professional who is knowledgeable about the census and is likely to be confirmed quickly." Moore noted that former Bureau Director Barbara Everitt Bryant, who has been promoted as a candidate for the position by many Members of Congress, would have the best chance at confirmation by the Senate. ASA offered to recommend other candidates, and in fact suggested several statisticians for the President to consider in an earlier letter to the White House. James F. Holmes, the Bureau's Atlanta Regional Office director, has been serving as the Acting Director since the resignation of Dr. Martha F. Riche at the end of January.

Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at (202) 434-8756 or, by e-mail, at TerriAnnL@aol.com.

Source: Beverly Railsback, U. S. Documents Librarian, New Jersey State Library, P. O. Box 520, Trenton, N. J. 08625-0520; Phone: 609-292-6259; Fax: 609-984-7900; E-mail: railsbac@njsl.tesc.edu, via DOX_NJ, April 3, 1998.

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(3) Census 2000 Update : April 28, 1998


Census Bureau Continues Work on "Nonsampling" Census Plan

The Commerce Department has sent to Congress a report describing its efforts to develop a plan for a 2000 census that doesn't include sampling or statistical methods. Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), chairman of the House appropriations panel that funds the Census Bureau, requested a detailed plan for a "nonsampling census" when Commerce Secretary William Daley testified before the subcommittee in March. The Fiscal Year 1998 Commerce Department funding bill (Public Law 105-119) directed the Census Bureau to develop and test an alternative plan for the 2000 census that would "result in the percentage of the total population actually enumerated being as close to 100 percent as possible" without using statistical methods. The Bureau is conducting a census without its planned sampling methods in the South Carolina dress rehearsal site this year.

The report discusses components of an alternative census plan that might be used if Congress or the courts barred the use of sampling methods. According to the report, many of the components were either used in 1990 or are part of the Bureau's current plan for 2000. These operations would have to be expanded from 1990, streamlined to promote efficiency, or redesigned. The report goes on to say that even with the contemplated improvements, "a 2000 census without scientific sampling would likely produce a net undercount and other errors at least as great as those in 1990." (emphasis in original) Because the alternative census plan is not finished, the report states, the Census Bureau does not yet have a full cost estimate for a nonsampling census. However, the agency estimates it will need an additional $276 million next year (Fiscal Year 1999) to continue development and testing of an alternative plan. In a report to Congress on its current census plan last summer, the Bureau estimated that it would cost $675 - $800 million more to take a 1990-style census in 2000. The President requested $848 million for 2000 census activities in Fiscal Year 1999.

Among the operations the Census Bureau would expand or rework in a nonsampling census are field office structure and staffing plans, advertising and partnership programs, and data processing. The Bureau would include new elements it has already planned for 2000, such as putting census forms in public places (the "Be Counted" program), hand delivering questionnaires in some urban areas, and efforts to weed out duplicate forms using new technologies. The Bureau also is studying new methods to help improve accuracy if sampling is banned, including the use of administrative records and a targeted replacement mailing. The report concludes that there is no evidence to suggest that an alternative plan could result in an "acceptable" level of accuracy in the 2000 census.

Congressional hearings: The House Subcommittee on the Census, chaired by Rep. Dan Miller (R-FL), will hold a hearing on Tuesday, May 5, on "Oversight of the 2000 Census: Revisiting the 1990 Census." Expected to testify are Reps. Tom Sawyer (D-OH) and Thomas Petri (R-WI), chairman and ranking minority member respectively of the former census oversight panel; Dr. Jerry Coffey, formerly a mathmatical statistician at the Office of Management and Budget; Dr. Philip Stark, Professor of Statistics, University of California/Berkeley; and Kenneth Darga, a demographer with Michigan's Department of Management and Budget. The subcommittee's Democratic members are expected to invite a witness, as well. The hearing will begin at 1:00 p.m. in room 2247 Rayburn House Office Building.


Legal Developments

The cities and other governmental parties that joined the City of Los Angeles in its requests to intervene in the two pending census lawsuits are: the cities of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Inglewood (CA), Long Beach (CA), Houston, Stamford (CT), Denver, and San Antonio; the State of New Mexico; the California counties of San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Alameda, Riverside, and Santa Clara; Dade County, FL; the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles; and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The city of Norwalk, Connecticut, decided not to join the legal effort, as previously reported.

The members of Congress joining in the request to intervene are congressional census caucus co-chairs Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Christopher Shays (R-CT), Rod Blagojevich (D-IL), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Julian Dixon (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Howard Berman (D-CA), Esteban Torres (D-CA), Xavier Beccera (D-CA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) Tom Sawyer (D-OH), Bobby Rush (D-IL), John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Donald Payne (D-NJ), and Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX).

Several Asian American and Latino advocacy groups also are seeking to join the lawsuits in support of the Census Bureau's plan to use sampling in the 2000 census. The National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed motions on April 13 to intervene in Glavin v. Clinton and U.S. House of Representatives v. U.S. Department of Commerce on behalf of several Asian American and Latino organizations. Evaluations of the 1990 census showed that 2.3 percent of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and 5 percent of Hispanics weren't counted.


Stakeholders Put Census Issues On Front Burner

The Population Resource Center will hold a briefing on May 1st for congressional staff and other interested stakeholders on the importance of demographic and socio-economic data collected on the census 'long form.' The scheduled speakers are Joan Naymark, Director of Research and Planning, Dayton-Hudson Corporation; Dr. Leobardo Estrada, School of Public Policy and Social Research, UCLA; Jacqueline Byers, Director of Research, National Association of Counties; and Dr. James Hughes, Dean, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University. Congresswoman Constance Morella (R-MD) and the Congressional Caucus on the Census are cosponsors of the event.

Late last month, the Census Bureau submitted to Congress the questions it plans to include on both the 'short' and 'long' census forms, as required by law. The PRC briefing will take place on Friday, May 1, at 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., in Room 2247 Rayburn House Office Building. Please contact PRC at (202) 467-5030 if you would like to attend.

The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights held a panel discussion on "Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census 2000" as part of its annual civil rights conference and awards dinner in Washington, D.C. on April 20. The audience heard presentations from former Census Bureau Director Martha "Marty" Farnsworth Riche; Robert Hill, a member (and former chair) of the Bureau's Advisory Committee on the African American Population for the 2000 Census; and Matthew Glavin, executive director of the Atlanta-based Southeastern Legal Foundation and lead plaintiff in Glavin v. Clinton, a lawsuit challenging the use of sampling in the census. Census 2000 Initiative project consultant TerriAnn Lowenthal moderated the session.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) held a National Leadership Consultation on Census 2000 in Washington, D.C. on April 27. Among the participants were members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including CBC Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), representatives of Black elected official organizations, and executives from J. Curtis & Company, the advertising firm that will develop a promotional campaign aimed at African American communities. The CBCF forum highlighted the importance of an accurate census to African Americans and ways to encourage a more complete count in 2000.

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators approved a resolution at its annual legislative conference last December "support[ing] the use of statistical sampling to augment the traditional means by which the population is counted" in the 2000 census. The National League of Cities also adopted a resolution at its annual business meeting in December encouraging community partnerships to promote a more accurate count and supporting the use of "proven sampling methods" to count households that don't respond by mail.

Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at (202) 434-8756 or, by e-mail, at TerriAnnL@aol.com. Please feel free to circulate this information to colleagues and other interested individuals.

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(4) Census 2000 Update : May 22, 1998


Subcommittee Hears Nearly Unanimous Support For Census 'Long Form' in 2000

At an oversight hearing yesterday to review the proposed 'short' and 'long' questionnaires for the 2000 census, a parade of witnesses representing a diverse range of stakeholders told legislators that demographic and economic data collected in the census were vital to support decisionmaking, planning, and resource allocation by local governments, community-based service providers, and private business. They noted that the $400 million cost of including a long form in the census was a modest investment, given the nearly $200 billion in Federal funds alone that are allocated each year to state and local governments on the basis of census data. Supporters of the long form also suggested that it was not responsible for the drop in census participation, since the number of questions has been reduced over the past few decades while response rates continued to fall.

The House Subcommittee on the Census heard testimony from Rep. Constance Morella (R-MD), sponsor of legislation (H. Con. Res. 246) in support of continuing the census long form in 2000; Rep. Charles Canady (R-FL), sponsor of a bill (H.R. 2081) to require the collection of data on family caregivers in the census; David Clawson, American Association of State Transportation and Highway Organizations; Helen Samhan, Working Group on Ancestry in the U.S. Census; James Hubbard, The American Legion; David Crowe, representing the Coalition to Preserve Census Data, a group of industry and business associations; Wen-Yen Chen, Formosan Association for Public Affairs; and Marlo Lewis, Jr., Competitive Enterprise Institute, a self-described public interest group that promotes private voluntary alternatives to government programs and regulations.

Only Mr. Lewis spoke against the continued collection of demographic and socio-economic data in the census, saying that the long form contributes to public distrust of government and that at a minimum, response should be voluntary. Mr. Chen proposed that the race question include Taiwanese as a separate category that respondents can check off. In 1990, the Census Bureau did not tabulate Taiwanese as a separate race, citing concerns by the State Department that diplomatic relations with China might be harmed. Respondents who received a long form could indicate Taiwanese background on the ancestry question.

Subcommittee Chairman Dan Miller (R-FL) said: "There's no question that we'll have a long form in 2000." He did not indicate whether he supported the range of questions proposed by the Census Bureau or maintaining the sample size of 17 percent (an average of one in six) of housing units. The chairman said he intends to hold additional hearings on the Census Bureau's proposal to eliminate the long form in 2010 by implementing a continuous survey (known as the American Community Survey, or ACS) throughout the decade to collect the same range of information and produce annual estimates for every jurisdiction. The panel's senior Democrat, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), held up a copy of USA Today with all of the articles cut out that referenced data derived directly or indirectly from the census long form. Most of the front page was gone, as were several other articles and one editorial. Rep. Vince Snowbarger (R-KS) asked several witnesses why local governments couldn't do a better job at collecting data on their own communities.


Conservative Organizations Form Coalition To Prevent Sampling In Census

About a dozen organizations generally associated with conservative causes announced the formation of the Citizens for an Honest Count Coalition at a press conference on Capitol Hill yesterday. Led by Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the organizations announced a grassroots campaign to "save the 2000 Census from political manipulation by the Clinton Administration" by preventing the use of sampling to conduct the count. ATR also opposes continuation of the long form questionnaire.

Among the groups announcing their involvement in the effort were the Washington Legal Foundation, the Law Enforcement Alliance of America (LEAA), and the 60 Plus Association, which describes itself as a conservative alternative to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). 60 Plus said that sampling "will hurt senior citizens," who may find themselves "subject to large tax increases [because] federal aid [will] shift to the areas (e.g. urban areas) which were 'statistically sampled'."

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on the Census, said in a written statement that "a simple look at the background of the groups involved shows that they all represent one, partisan group: the Republican National Committee." She called the new coalition a "farce" and "partisanship at its most damaging." Maloney said that ATR received funds from the Republican National Committee during the 1996 election campaign and the LEAA was founded with funds from the National Rifle Association.


Appropriations Update

Congress continues to proceed slowly on legislation that will fund the Federal government in Fiscal Year 1999, with the House falling well behind the usual schedule for budget and funding bills. The Senate approved its version of a budget resolution for FY99 in April and its appropriations panel has now set broad spending levels for each of 13 budget categories. The Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and The Judiciary, which funds the Census Bureau, received an allocation of $32.2 billion, about $1.2 billion (3.6 percent) below the President's request of $33.4 billion. The subcommittee must now draft and approve a bill that divides the $32.2 billion among all of the agencies and programs under its jurisdiction, ranging from weather programs to criminal justice activities to State Department priorities to the census.

In the House this week, the Budget Committee cleared a FY99 budget resolution that provides broad guidance to the appropriators on spending and revenues. Congress is supposed to approve a budget resolution each year by April 15 but often misses the legal deadline. The House Appropriations Committee is poised to divvy up among its subcommittees the $1.7 trillion that will be available for Federal programs in FY99, even before the full House approves the tardy budget measure.


Committee Roster Change

Rep. Ron Lewis (R-KY) has been appointed to take the place of Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) on the Subcommittee on the Census, House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight. Rep. Lewis joined the full committee recently to fill a vacancy created by the death of Rep. Steven Schiff (R-NM), who recently succumbed to cancer.


Stakeholder Activities

The National Urban League, a member of the 2000 Census Advisory Committee, co-hosted a meeting with Census Bureau officials on May 5 in New York City to discuss ways of promoting the 2000 census in the African American community. Urban League President Hugh Price spoke to program participants, who also heard from Acting Census Bureau Director James Holmes and New York Regional Director Tony Farthing.

The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. hosted a discussion about the census at its annual policy conference on May 19 in Washington, D.C. Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), Census Bureau Associate Director for Field Operations Marvin Raines, and Census 2000 Initiative project consultant TerriAnn Lowenthal discussed ways that civic organizations can help ensure an accurate census in 2000.


Worth Reading

An article in the May/June 1998 issue of The Sciences, gives a particularly comprehensive and clear picture of how the census is taken, and the major issues involved in achieving an accurate count. Please contact Henry Griggs at the Communications Consortium Media Center (hgriggs@ccmc.org) is you cannot obtain a copy on your own.


Census 2000 Initiative Web Site In the Works

Coming soon to a web site near you! The Census 2000 Initiative is nearing completion of its web site to keep census stakeholders informed about key policy issues affecting the next count. The site will include recent News Alerts, an archive of past News Alerts, fact sheets on key issues, and links to stakeholder organizations involved in census activities or issues. If your organization (nonpartisan) maintains a web site with census-related information, please let us know. Watch for details about the Initiative's site in future News Alerts.

Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at (202) 434-8756 or, by e-mail, at TerriAnnL@aol.com. Please feel free to circulate this information to colleagues and other interested individuals.

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(5) Census 2000 Update, June 1, 1998


D.C. Court Lets Los Angeles, Other Cities Join Census Lawsuit

A federal court has ruled that the City of Los Angeles, 19 other states, cities, and counties, and 19 Members of Congress may officially join the lawsuit brought by House Speaker Newt Gingrich to prevent the use of sampling in the 2000 census. Los Angeles had sought to intervene in U.S. House of Representatives v. U.S. Department of Commerce in support of the Census Bureau's 2000 census plan. As "intervenor-defendants," Los Angeles and the other stakeholder parties argue that the Constitution contemplates an accurate census, not a particular method for achieving the population count. Oral arguments before a special three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will be heard on June 11, beginning at 10:00 a.m.


Census Monitoring Board Set To Meet

The Census Monitoring Board, established in the Census Bureau's current year funding bill, will hold its first meeting on Wednesday, June 3, at 2:00 p.m., in Room 2203 Rayburn House Office Building. The meeting is open to the public.


Funding Update

House appropriators are ready to start drafting the 13 funding bills that will keep Federal agencies running in Fiscal Year 1999 (FY99), which begins on October 1. Before heading home for the Memorial Day break, the Committee on Appropriations divided up $532.8 billion in discretionary funds that will be available for Federal programs next year. The Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, and The Judiciary and Related Agencies, which covers the Census Bureau, received $32.34 billion, almost $200 million more than its counterpart Senate panel but still $1.04 billion less than the Administration requested. The Senate subcommittee will divide $32.16 billion among the diverse programs in the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State and several other independent agencies, as well as the Federal judiciary. The Administration requested $848 million for 2000 census activities in FY99.


Administration Activities

President Clinton will shine a spotlight on the importance of an accurate census when he visits Houston, Texas, tomorrow. The President will participate in a roundtable discussion on key census issues with local political and civic leaders.


Important Administrative Note

Census 2000 Initiative project consultant TerriAnn Lowenthal has a new e-mail address, effective immediately. You may now direct questions to TerriAnn at terriann2K@aol.com. Also, effective June 26, TerriAnn can be reached at a new work number, (202) 484-2270. Until June 26, she can be reached at (202) 434-8756.

Source: Linda Gage, State Data Center Listserve; redistributed by Beverly Railsback, U. S. Documents Librarian, New Jersey State Library, P. O. Box 520, Trenton, N. J. 08625-0520; Phone: 609-292-6259; Fax: 609-984-7900; E-mail: railsbac@njsl.tesc.edu on DOX_NJ, June 1, 1998.

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(6) Census 2000 Update, June 8, 1998


Census Monitoring Board Sets Ground Rules, Divides Money, In Effort To Establish Bipartisan Role

The Census Monitoring Board, established in a funding bill last fall as part of the so-called compromise agreement over the use of sampling in the census, held its first meeting on June 3 in a House of Representatives meeting room. All eight Board members gave brief opening remarks, with some suggesting that they were skeptical of the Census Bureau's plan to supplement traditional counting methods with statistical sampling and others stating that the census could not be improved without adding new methods.

The Board discussed administrative matters for most of the session, deciding how to divvy up its annual $4 million budget, hire staff, and keep track of spending. Board members agreed to set aside $1 million for joint professional staff and projects, with the remaining funds divided equally between the President's appointees and those appointed by the Republican congressional leadership. They put off adopting rules for how the joint funds would be spent but agreed in principle that all members would keep the Board informed about the substance and purpose of projects undertaken independently by either side.

The Board also adopted a recommendation by Republican co-chair Kenneth Blackwell to let the Government Printing Office (GPO) handle the Board's accounting after agreeing to a request by Democratic co-chair Tony Coelho that information about expenditures be subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). (As an agency of the Legislative Branch, GPO is not subject to FOIA by law. The law creating the Board had designated the General Services Administration as the fiscal agent; GSA is subject to FOIA.) Board members were sworn in as official Census Bureau employees, giving them access to confidential information collected by the Bureau.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Blackwell said that he had tried to meet with Acting Census Bureau Director James Holmes earlier that day but had been rebuffed. Mr. Blackwell said the encounter did not bode well for establishing a cooperative relationship with the Bureau. Presidentially-appointed Board member Everett Ehrlich responded that Mr. Holmes had received the meeting request only two days before and had tried to notify Mr. Blackwell that he could not be available due to previous commitments.

The Board has set July 8 as the tentative date for its next meeting. Future meetings will be announced in the Federal Register and open to the public unless the Board votes to close the meeting.


Sampling Opponents Criticize President's Houston Census Event

President Clinton made his first extended public comments about the 2000 census on June 2, visiting the Magnolia Multi-Service Center WIC facility in Houston, TX, and participating in a roundtable discussion with local civic, elected and religious leaders. Roundtable participants discussed the importance of an accurate census to transportation, housing, health and child care, rural development, education, and other policies and programs. Commerce Deputy Secretary Robert Mallett, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), co-chair of the congressional census caucus, and Rep. Tom Sawyer (D-OH), former chairman of the House census oversight subcommittee, accompanied the President to Houston.

The President said he wanted "[to] put a human face on the census and its consequences" and that "an inaccurate census distorts our understanding of the needs of our people [and] diminishes the quality of life not only for them, but for all the rest of us as well." He said the Census Bureau must use "the most up-to-date, scientific, cost-effective methods" to take an accurate census. "This is not a political issue, this is an American issue," Clinton said, noting that it was "unfortunate" that some in Congress oppose the use of sampling to count the population. The President acknowledged the difficulty in explaining why sampling can help produce a more accurate count to the general public.

Rep. Dan Miller (R-FL), chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Census, and Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), head of the House Republican Conference, both issued written statements in response to the President's Houston remarks. Rep. Miller accused the President of "peddling statistical snake-oil." "We've heard enough of his 'political' science. Where is the 'empirical' science?" Rep. Miller asked. Rep. Boehner also charged the President with politicizing the census and said that sampling "corrupts a basic sense of fairness by treating people as numbers that can be estimated, rather than individuals who have a right to be counted."


Race and Ethnicity Update

The Census Bureau's Advisory Committees held a joint meeting on June 3 to discuss the development of guidelines for tabulating multiple responses to the race question in the 2000 census and other Federal data collection activities. Census Bureau staff presented several guideline options, noting that there were 63 possible combinations of reporting responses to the race question, including the six individual categories established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Tabulation options include "collapsing" the information into fewer categories for some combinations; reassigning multiple responses, either randomly or according to predetermined "priorities," to the original, individual categories; and reporting all combinations with each race identified in the combination, producing totals that exceed 100 percent.

Advisory Committee participants raised several issues for further consideration and research, including maintaining the comparability of data over time, identification of households (as opposed to individuals) by race, and protecting confidentiality at the smaller geographic levels, particularly when demographic or economic characteristics are tabulated by race. An example of the latter problem would be reporting the number of households identified as Black/Asian/White with incomes under $25,000 for a group of census blocks; the incidence of these combined characteristics may be too small to protect the privacy of respondents.

Only 15 racial categories will be reported for this year's Census Dress Rehearsal while the Bureau and a Federal interagency task force continue their research. OMB expects to publish final tabulation guidelines by next winter.


Legal Update

A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will hear oral arguments in the case of U.S. House of Representatives v. U.S. Department of Commerce on Thursday, June 11, beginning at 10:00 a.m. The Federal courthouse is located at 3rd Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W. Los Angeles City Attorney James Hahn and several other parties that have joined the lawsuit in support of the Census Bureau's 2000 census plan will hold a press conference at 9:30 a.m. on the steps of the courthouse to discuss the key issues in the case, which centers around the constitutionality of using sampling in the census.


Census Preparations

The Census Bureau has chosen its sites for the data capture centers, where millions of questionnaires will be processed during the 2000 census. The sites are Baltimore County, MD; Pomona, CA; and Phoenix, AZ. Census forms will also be processed at the Bureau's permanent data capture facility in Jeffersonville, IN. The facilities will be built and operated by TRW, which was awarded the contract earlier this year. TRW also will recruit and train temporary workers to staff the facilities.


Stakeholder Activities

The 2000 Census Advisory Committee to the Secretary of Commerce will hold its quarterly meeting on June 11 - 12, at the Francis Amasa Walker Conference Center, Bureau of the Census, 4700 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, MD, beginning at 8:45 a.m. each day. Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at (202) 434-8756 or, by e-mail, at terriann2k@aol.com. Please feel free to circulate this information to colleagues and other interested individuals.

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(7) NADO NEWS, June 5, 1998


NADO Calls on President to Assure Accuracy in Rural Census

In a June 3 letter to President Bill Clinton, National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) President Eric Thompson urged the administration to work with regional development organizations to assure that small metropolitan and rural America will be counted in the 2000 census.

On June 2 President Clinton met with citizens in Houston's east end community to highlight the administration's call for the use of sampling in the next census. According to the Washington Post, the president moderated a multiracial panel of eight sampling proponents including academics, health care workers, a minister and a charity director to discuss the need for sampling as a way to reduce the undercount, particularly in big cities.

"All of us just want an accurate count. Whatever the count is, wherever the people are, this is not a political issue. This is an American issue," Clinton said. In his letter Thompson noted, "Indeed it is an American issue, especially for the 75 percent who do not live in big cities. Our members share your concern about an accurate census and have made a proposal to the Bureau of Census and the Congress that will help assure a reliable count in small metropolitan and rural areas."

NADO is proposing that the Census Bureau partner with and provide $32 million for the existing network of regional development organizations, including 320 economic development districts funded by the Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA). Such an effort would be similar to the funding of districts for assistance following a natural disaster which has proved so successful. In small metropolitan and rural communities, regional development organizations are logical and compatible partners for coordinating and conducting key census activities such as reviewing and updating local address lists and maps; conducting local outreach and promotion campaigns; and recruiting, hiring and training local field office staff.

Because of a large undercount in the 1990 Census, the Census Bureau and others are supporting the use of sampling in addition to traditional individual counting. Republicans in the House are concerned that sampling will be used to increase counts of poor and minority individuals in inner cities and have filed suit challenging the constitutionality of sampling. Chairman of the House Census Subcommittee Dan Miller (R-FL) suggested in his response to the president's speech that "sampling would actually lead to undercounting in metropolitan areas with fewer than 100,000."

NADO officers and staff have met with numerous Department of Commerce and Census Bureau officials as well as members of Congress to discuss the need for an accurate count for small metropolitan and rural areas. "Regional development organizations stand ready to help assure that the Year 2000 Census is as accurate as is humanly possible, whatever method is selected by the federal government," Thompson noted in his letter.

For more background information on NADO's efforts on the 2000 Census, visit http://www.nado.org/census.htm.

Source: Matthew Chase, Director of Legislative Affairs, National Association of Development Organizations, 444 North Capitol Street, NW Suite 630, Washington, DC 20001; Tel: (202) 624-7806; Fax: (202) 624-8813; Email: nadomdc@sso.org; Webpage: http://www.nado.org/, June 5, 1998 News Release. Redistributed by Beverly Railsback, U. S. Documents Librarian, New Jersey State Library, P. O. Box 520, Trenton, N. J. 08625-0520; Phone: 609-292-6259; Fax: 609-984-7900; E-mail: railsbac@njsl.tesc.edu on DOX_NJ, June 10, 1998.

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(8) Census 2000 Update, June 15, 1998


Federal Court Hears Arguments In Gingrich Lawsuit Against Census Sampling

A three-judge U.S. District Court panel heard oral arguments today before a packed courtroom in the case filed by House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) challenging the constitutionality and legality of sampling in the census. District of Columbia Circuit Court Judge Douglas Ginsburg was joined by District Court Judges Royce C. Lamberth and Ricardo Urbina in presiding over U.S. House of Representatives v. U.S. Department of Commerce, the first of two lawsuits asserting that the Constitution and the Census Act (Title 13, United States Code) prohibit sampling in the census.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) argued the case for the Commerce Department, first suggesting that the House did not have standing to bring the lawsuit because the current Congress (105th) would not be harmed by a census taken in 2000 and that the case was not ripe for judicial consideration because the House could still direct census methods through legislation. Judge Lamberth appeared skeptical of those arguments, pointing out that if the controversy over sampling was not settled soon, the decision on which methods to use would be irreversible and any potential harm to the plaintiffs caused by sampling was therefore inevitable if the Census Bureau proceeded with its plan. Lawyers for the House argued that Congress and the Administration had reached an impasse on the question of whether sampling can be used in the census, making it necessary for the courts to step in, an argument that Judge Lamberth appeared to embrace. Plaintiff's lawyers noted that the Bureau and the General Accounting Office believed that a decision on the census design should be made very soon.

Both sides also presented their arguments on the constitutionality and legality of sampling methods. The government said that the Constitution contemplates the most accurate census possible, while the House's lawyers argued that the term "enumeration" in Article I, section 2, meant to count one by one, not to estimate. Judges Ginsburg and Lamberth seemed most concerned with plaintiff's suggestion that sampling methods are open to political manipulation. The government noted in response that traditional counting methods also can be manipulated to achieve a certain outcome.

Plaintiff's lawyers also argued that the Census Act does not allow sampling to produce the census counts used to apportion the House of Representatives. They pointed to section 195 of the Census Act, which states that except for purposes of apportionment, the Census Bureau "shall" use sampling methods whenever possible. The government's attorney's countered that section 141 of the Act authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to determine how the census will be taken, including the use of sampling. They suggested that when Congress amended both sections in 1976, it intended to encourage the use of sampling whenever possible in data collection activities but leave the decision on whether to use sampling in the decennial census to the Secretary.

The court also heard brief arguments in support of the government's position from intervening parties: the City of Los Angeles on behalf of 19 other cities, counties, and states, and 19 Members of Congress; House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt and several other Democratic representatives; a coalition of Asian American and Hispanic civic organizations; and the California State Legislature.

In a written statement, House census subcommittee Chairman Dan Miller (R-FL), referring to arguments that the case was not ready for judicial intervention, said he was troubled that "the President is using taxpayer money to pay government lawyers to try to get the case dismissed." Rep. Miller asked: "Is he [the President] afraid that sampling will be found unconstitutional?" The lawsuit filed by the House of Representatives, at the direction of Speaker Gingrich, as well as the outside law firm hired to argue the case, are also being paid for with taxpayer funds. The government argued the merits of the case as well as pursuing arguments on whether the Constitution permits this type of case to be heard. Also in a written statement, Citizens for an Honest Count Coalition, a group of conservative organizations opposed to sampling, urged the court to rule quickly "before billions of dollars are wasted on a phony census."

In an audio press conference yesterday hosted by the Census 2000 Initiative, constitutional scholar and Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe said that neither the Constitution nor the law prohibited sampling. Calling the lawsuit one of "the Emperor has no clothes," Prof. Tribe said that it wouldn't make sense for the framers of the Constitution to say the Congress should direct how the census will be taken and then limit those methods. Article I, section 2, says in relevant part that "the actual Enumeration shall be made [every ten years] in such Manner as they [Congress] shall by Law direct." University of Wisconsin history professor Margo Anderson, author of "The American Census," said that the Founding Fathers sought a way to depoliticize the process of allocating seats in Congress among the states and settled on a measurement of the population, but that they had not discussions about the methods for doing so.

The other lawsuit, Glavin v. Clinton, will be heard by a three-judge panel in the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria) later this summer. In the Census Bureau's funding bill for this year, Congress directed that the courts expedite consideration of the cases, with any appeal going directly to the Supreme Court.


Census 2000 Initiative Web Site Nearing Completion

The Census 2000 Initiative Web site is nearing completion. Please forward any suggestions for hyper-links you think >should be included to: Henry Griggs at hgriggs@ccmc.org.

Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at (202) 434-8756 or, by e-mail, at terriann2k@aol.com. Please feel free to circulate this information to colleagues and other interested individuals.

Source: Linda Gage, State Data Center Listserve, June 11, 1998; redistributed by Beverly Railsback, U. S. Documents Librarian, New Jersey State Library, P. O. Box 520, Trenton, N. J. 08625-0520; Phone: 609-292-6259; Fax: 609-984-7900; E-mail: railsbac@njsl.tesc.edu on DOX_NJ, June 15, 1998.

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(9) Census 2000 Update, June 22, 1998


President Set To Nominate Prewitt as Census Bureau Director

President Clinton is reportedly set to formally nominate Dr. Kenneth Prewitt, president of the New York-based Social Science Research Council, as head of the Census Bureau. Prewitt is a highly-regarded social scientist who formerly headed the National Opinion Research Center in Chicago and was instrumental in founding the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA). It does not appear that he has spoken publicly on any issues surrounding the 2000 census.

The director's position has been vacant since Dr. Martha F. Riche resigned in late January. Atlanta Regional Director James Holmes has been serving as Acting Director of the agency. In an article today in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, Rep. Dan Miller, chairman of the House census oversight panel, is quoted as saying that he feared Dr. Prewitt "is simply being used by the Clinton White House as yet another statistical shill for their beleaguered statistical estimation scheme that has brought the 2000 Census to the brink of disaster." The announcement of Dr. Prewitt's nomination is likely this week.


Budget Hearings

The House and Senate funding panels are preparing to take initial action on the Census Bureau's budget bills before Congress heads home for its July 4th break at week's end. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and State, The Judiciary and Related Agencies will "mark-up" the Fiscal Year 1999 (FY99) funding measure for programs under its jurisdiction on Tuesday, June 23, at 10 a.m. in room S-146, The Capitol. The House's counterpart subcommittee has set a tentative mark-up for June 24 (time and location to be announced). Appropriations panels rarely release details of their budget numbers before they meet.


Census Commentary

Two nationally syndicated columnists have weighed in on the controversy over the use of sampling in the census in recent weeks. George Will's column appeared in numerous newspapers, including The Washington Post on June 14 under the headline "Would You Buy A Used Census From This Prez?" In it, Mr. Will accused President Clinton of disregarding the Constitution's requirement of "actually locating actual people" and said that "[t]he central problem is the political temptations in sampling." He quotes David Murray, head of research for the Statistical Assessment Service and a member of the new Census Monitoring Board, as saying: "The ability to 'create' or 'eliminate' millions of strategically placed citizens with the stroke of a pen introduces a potent and disturbing new political weapon." Dr. Murray is a former anthropology professor.

David Broder's column, entitled "Playing Hardball On The Census," ran in The Washington Post on June 21. Mr. Broder suggested that sampling opponents may have an easier time prohibiting the Bureau from using statistical methods because of provisions in this year's funding bill that the President accepted. Mr. Broder called the hearing on the lawsuit filed by Speaker Newt Gingrich "a near disaster" for the Administration, noting that the two Republican-appointed judges on the three-judge district court panel "riddled the Justice Department attorney with skeptical questions." He also quoted Thomas Hofeller, staff director of the House census subcommittee, as saying: "Someone should remind Bill Daley [the secretary of commerce and overseer of the Census Bureau] that if he counts people the way he wants to, his brother [Chicago Mayor Richard Daley] could find himself trying to run a majority-minority city." Mr. Broder predicted that the Administration might have to appeal an adverse decision in the lower court on the constitutional issue to the Supreme Court.


Stakeholder Activities

The 2000 Census Advisory Committee to the Secretary of Commerce held its quarterly meeting at the Census Bureau's Suitland, MD, headquarters on June 11 and 12. The committee is drafting a final report to the Secretary that will be delivered before the panel sunsets at the end of the year. The Secretary has the authority to reconstitute the panel and appoint new members.

Census Bureau staff discussed plans to distribute data from the 2000 census through its new Data Access and Dissemination System (DADS). The Bureau hopes to rely more heavily on electronic distribution of information, thereby reducing the amount of paper products available. However several Advisory Committee members expressed concern that the new system would limit access for many data users who cannot afford to use the Internet on a regular basis.

Congressional staff representing Republican and Democratic members of the House census oversight subcommittee also spoke to the committee. Tom Hofeller, the panel's staff director, disagreed with concerns expressed by some committee members and outside observers that subcommittee Chairman Dan Miller (R-FL) and his staff were engaging in "[Census] Bureau bashing," saying that while they clearly had a "policy disagreement," he had the "highest respect" for the Bureau's employees. The American Legion's representative on the panel said that any suggestions that census numbers could be manipulated for political purposes implied that Bureau staff would be involved or at least condone such an action, a conclusion he believed was wrong and unfair. The American Legion has not taken a position on the use of sampling methods but is working with the Bureau to help promote census participation.

Mr. Hofeller and his staff colleagues have visited both the Sacramento, CA, and Columbia, SC, census dress rehearsal sites. Mr. Hofeller described the visits as "very illuminating" and noted several operational concerns including a "cookie cutter approach" to paid advertising and outreach, some failures to recruit enumerators indigenous to each neighborhood (particularly when language barriers exist), and the pace and accuracy of address list development efforts. He also suggested that the Census Bureau is not as eager to plan for a "non-sampling census," although Congress directed preparations for two kinds of censuses in this year's funding bill.


Important Housekeeping Notes

Census 2000 Initiative project consultant TerriAnn Lowenthal will have new telephone and fax numbers, effective June 25. Please make a note of the following numbers: (tel) 202/484-2270; (fax) 202/554-9851.

Also, please direct all requests to receive our News Alerts, as well as any change of address, phone or fax, or e-mail address, to Keri Monihan at the Communications Consortium Media Center, at kmonihan@ccmc.org, or 202/326-8728.

Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at (202) 434-8756 or, by e-mail at terriann2k@aol.com. Please direct all requests to receive News Alerts, and all changes in address/phone/fax/e-mail, to Keri Monihan at kmonihan@ccmc.org or 202/326-8728. Please feel free to circulate this >>information to colleagues and other interested individuals.

Source: Linda Gage, State Data Center Listserve News Alert June 22, 1998, June 23, 1998; redistributed by Beverly Railsback, U. S. Documents Librarian, New Jersey State Library, P. O. Box 520, Trenton, N. J. 08625-0520; Phone: 609-292-6259; Fax: 609-984-7900; E-mail: railsbac@njsl.tesc.edu, July 1, 1998.

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(10) Census 2000 Update, June 26, 1998


Controversy Over Census Methods Continues As Appropriators Consider FY99 Funding

The House and Senate appropriations panels took their first steps this week toward crafting bills to fund the Census Bureau in the fiscal year starting on October 1, 1998. The Fiscal Year 1999 Commerce, Justice, State, and The Judiciary Appropriations bill was approved by the Senate's subcommittee and full appropriations panel while only the counterpart House subcommittee completed its work before legislators headed home for the July 4th break.

The Senate committee allocated $848 million for 2000 census preparations, the amount requested by the President. Subcommittee Chairman Judd Gregg (R-NH) indicated at the June 23 subcommittee 'mark-up' that the final debate over the use of sampling methods would be put off until next year. He also criticized the Census Bureau's report to Congress earlier this year, which spelled out the Bureau's plan for taking a census without sampling.

The House subcommittee that funds the Census Bureau, chaired by Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), allocated $956 million for the 2000 census, which includes $4 million for the Census Monitoring Board. However, only half of that amount would be available for the Census Bureau to spend through March 31, 1999. The remaining $476 million cannot be spent until the President, by March 15, formally requests the funds and gives a cost estimate for completion of the census. Congress then has until March 31 to pass legislation allowing the Bureau to spend the remaining funds. The bill does not specify what will happen if Congress and the President fail to agree on releasing the funds by that date.

The subcommittee's senior Democrat, Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV), expressed "dismay" at the bill's provisions. He argued that it violated last year's agreement between congressional Republican leaders and the White House to put pressure on both sides to resolve the sampling issue by subjecting the entire appropriations bill to another funding vote in March, 1999. Rep. Mollohan said that the President would insist on upholding the agreed-upon procedure or push for a resolution of the sampling controversy this Fall.


House Census Chairman Questions Qualifications Of Census Bureau Director Nominee

As expected, on June 23, the President nominated Dr. Kenneth Prewitt, president of the Social Science Research Council, to be the next head of the Census Bureau. The nomination will go before the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, chaired by Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN). Commerce Secretary William Daley called Dr. Prewitt "one of this nation's most distinguished social scientists and experienced executives and he called upon the Senate to consider the nomination quickly. Dr. Prewitt, speaking at a press conference announcing his selection, said it is "unfortunate that Census 2000 has become prey to partisan disagreements." He pledged to work closely with Congress to "establish in principle and in fact that the Census Bureau is a nonpartisan agency obligated by law and guided by professional traditions to present the most accurate statistics technically possible, at a reasonable cost." He did not indicate in his prepared remarks whether he supported the use of sampling in the census.

In a statement on the House floor that evening, census oversight Chairman Dan Miller (R-FL) questioned Dr. Prewitt's qualifications for the position. He said that Dr. Prewitt received the nomination only because he met the President's "litmus test" of support for sampling, and suggested that the nominee did not have the management experience to "lead a huge organization at a time of crisis. ...[h]e ran a think tank, and that is it." Rep. Miller went on to say: "The Census Bureau needs a General Schwarzkopf, not a Professor Sherman Klunk, to save the census." In a separate written statement, the chairman said he hoped that if Dr. Prewitt is confirmed, he will "demonstrate some independence from the political handlers in the Clinton Administration."

Rep. Miller also defended his subcommittee staff director, Thomas Hofeller, from charges made by some Members of Congress that Mr. Hofeller had injected racial politics into the debate over sampling. Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), a member of the census subcommittee, called a quote by Mr. Hofeller in a recent column by David Broder (see June 22 News Alert) "reprehensible" and "race-laden" and he called upon Chairman Miller to repudiate the statement. Rep. Miller responded that Mr. Hofeller's quote was taken out of context and that his staff director had assisted minorities in gaining political representation through the redistricting process.


Census Monitoring Board Update

The Census Monitoring Board will hold its second meeting on July 8. The location and time for the meeting have not been announced. The Board's co-chairs have appointed their respective top staffers. Fred Asbell, executive director for Republican co-chair Kenneth Blackwell, most recently has worked in the international telecommunications arena. He served in senior staff positions at the Department of Labor during the Reagan Administration and in Congress, and also has held several senior positions at the Republican National Committee and the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. Mark Johnson, appointed by Democratic co-chair Tony Coelho, just completed a stint as U.S. Deputy Commissioner General at World Expo '98 in Lisbon, Portugal, where he also directed the American Pavilion under Commissioner General Coelho. He has worked in journalism and in Congress, and directed communications at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the mid-1980s.


Legal Update

A federal court in Virginia is set to hear oral arguments in a second case challenging the constitutionality of sampling in the census. A three-judge U.S. District Court panel will take up Glavin v. Clinton on August 7, at 10 a.m., at the federal courthouse in Roanoke, Virginia (Poff Federal Building, 210 Franklin Rd., S.W.). The lawsuit was filed in February by Matthew Glavin, president of the Atlanta-based Southeastern Legal Foundation, Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA), and other individual plaintiffs. Several counties have moved to join the sampling opponents in the case, while other cities, states, counties and Members of Congress have asked to intervene on the government's side.


Executive Branch Activities

William G. Barron, Jr., deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), has been named Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs, the number-two position in the Department's Economic and Statistics Administration which oversees the Census Bureau. Mr. Barron, who spent 30 years as a career civil servant at BLS, will focus on budget and management issues affecting the 2000 census.


The Press Beat

The Detroit Free Press (6/15/98), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (6/14/98), and The Buffalo News (6/15/98) have published editorials in support of the Census Bureau's plan for the 2000 census. We encourage stakeholders to speak with journalists in their communities about the importance of an accurate and cost-effective census.

Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at (202) 484-2270 or, by e-mail at terriann2k@aol.com. Please direct all requests to receive News Alerts, and all changes in address/phone/fax/e-mail, to Keri Monihan at kmonihan@ccmc.org or 202/326-8728. Please feel free to circulate this information to colleagues and other interested individuals.

Source: Linda Gage, State Data Center Listserve News Alert June 22, 1998, June 23, 1998; redistributed by Beverly Railsback, U. S. Documents Librarian, New Jersey State Library, P. O. Box 520, Trenton, N. J. 08625-0520; Phone: 609-292-6259; Fax: 609-984-7900; E-mail: railsbac@njsl.tesc.edu, July 1, 1998.

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(11) Census 2000 Update, July 9, 1998


Census Monitoring Board Reviews 2000 Plan
Dress Rehearsal On Track, Commerce Department Says

The Census Monitoring Board yesterday heard a detailed presentation from Acting Director James Holmes about how and why the Bureau developed its 2000 census plan. Mr. Holmes also discussed the progress of the Dress Rehearsal, which he called a "smashing success" so far from an operational standpoint. The Dress Rehearsal also was the subject of a press conference earlier in the day by Commerce Secretary William Daley and Mr. Holmes.

In opening remarks by the Board co-chairs, Tony Coelho said that the panel should ensure that safeguards are in place to prevent political manipulation of the census. He also said that the Board should leave constitutional questions about sampling methods to the courts and any concerns about redistricting to the state legislatures, which are charged with drawing congressional districts. Kenneth Blackwell said he wanted to ensure an adequate flow of information from the Bureau to the Board and suggested that the panel should have "unimpeded access" to every part of the Bureau. Mr. Coelho observed that there should be a distinction between the level of access granted to panel members and to staff. He noted that the authorizing law granted broad access to Census Bureau information "subject to such regulations as the Board may prescribe in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce."

The Board, created as part of this year's funding bill for the Census Bureau, listened to Mr. Holmes describe how concerns about the accuracy and cost of the 1990 count led Congress and outside experts, as well as the Bureau, to search for ways to improve the process. The director called the Dress Rehearsal, still going on in three sites, a "classroom" where the Bureau could identify remaining problems with its plan and make improvements. He reviewed key operational indicators available so far, including mail-back rates, recruitment and hiring efforts, telephone assistance, and the door-to-door visits (called "nonresponse follow-up). Mr. Holmes reported the following successes in Dress Rehearsal activities:

Mr. Holmes discussed problems identified in the Dress Rehearsal, including an incomplete address list, difficulty tracking all pages of the long form, and inaccurate maps. He also warned against complacency in recruiting efforts for 2000 and said it was too early to assess the quality of the data collected in the dry run. The post-census quality check survey, which will correct undercounts and overcounts in the initial tally (called "Integrated Coverage Measurement"), is continuing in Sacramento and Menominee. In South Carolina the Bureau is conducting a post-census survey that will measure accuracy but will not be used to adjust the final numbers.

Board members asked a wide range of questions following the director's presentation. Mr. Blackwell expressed concern that the type of badges issued to Board members and staff did not allow them the fullest access to the Bureau. Mr. Holmes assured Board members that they would have full access to information but said there needed to be an orderly process to ensure efficiency in meeting requests. In response to another question from Mr. Blackwell, the director said the Bureau would be ready to take a census without sampling if Congress or the courts banned the use of those methods. Mr. Blackwell also asked for assurances that the Bureau would not remove people who had sent in their census forms from the count as part of the sampling process. In a June 26 guest editorial in The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Blackwell said it was "unconscionable" for the Bureau to subtract "real people" from the census in order to correct for duplicate counting. Mr. Holmes said that the planned statistical methods do not remove anyone who answered the census. Rep. Dan Miller (R-FL), chair of the House census oversight panel, has said he plans to introduce legislation to prevent the Bureau from subtracting "real people" from the count.

Lorraine Green, a former deputy director of the federal Office of Personnel Management, expressed an interest in helping the Bureau meet its recruitment and hiring goals. David Murray said he was concerned about errors in the sampling process used to measure accuracy in 1990, citing testimony before the House census subcommittee on May 5 that statistical adjustments could make the census less accurate. Mr. Holmes said that interpretation was "one person's opinion" and noted that most other experts endorsed the Bureau's 2000 census plan. Mr. Coelho pointed out that Americans should be concerned about the accuracy of the count in their neighborhoods because if some people don't respond the entire community will receive less in terms of resources.

Everitt Ehrlich, former Under Secretary of Commerce, expressed frustration with charges that the use of sampling was a "ruse" to achieve political benefit. He noted that the Bureau had only four political appointees in a workforce of 10,000, that research on the use of sampling in 2000 had started during the Bush Administration, and that former Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher, a Bush appointee, had overruled experts at the Bureau who had recommended an adjustment of the 1990 census.


Commerce Secretary Applauds Dress Rehearsal

At a National Press Club appearance on July 8, Commerce Secretary Daley warned Congress against delaying full funding for the Census Bureau next year. Referring to recent action in the House appropriations subcommittee that controls his Department's budget (see our June 26 News Alert), Mr. Daley said that Congress should separate funding from the dispute over sampling methods. Any interruption in funding, the Secretary said, could force the Bureau to lay off temporary workers developing the final address lists, delay contracts for data processing technology, and "put the entire census at risk."

Rep. Miller issued a written statement in response to the Secretary's remarks, said "Sec. Daley's cheerleading is a little premature. The jury is still out on the 1998 dress rehearsals." In a separate statement, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), co-chair of the Census Caucus, renewed her call for a Census Subcommittee hearing on the dress rehearsals so that the public will not be "misled by inaccurate accounts of what is happening ... "

Mr. Daley said the success of the Dress Rehearsal so far demonstrates "the superior management and operational expertise of the Census Bureau." The dry run "gives us tremendous confidence [that] our plan is solid, it is strong, and the people are there to implement it," he said.

Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at (202) 484-2270 or, by e-mail at terriann2k@aol.com. Please direct all requests to receive News Alerts, and all changes in address/phone/fax/e-mail, to Keri Monihan at kmonihan@ccmc.org or 202/326-8728. Please feel free to circulate this information to colleagues and other interested individuals.

Source: Linda Gage, State Data Center Listserve News Alert July 9, 1998; redistributed by Beverly Railsback, U. S. Documents Librarian, New Jersey State Library, P. O. Box 520, Trenton, N. J. 08625-0520; Phone: 609-292-6259; Fax: 609-984-7900; E-mail: railsbac@njsl.tesc.edu, July 10, 1998.

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(12) Census 2000 Update, July 15, 1998


House Appropriators Stick with Six-Month Funding For Census,
Reject Amendment to Keep Funds Flowing Past March

In a 22 - 31 party-line vote, the House Appropriations Committee today rejected an amendment offered by Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) that would provide uninterrupted funding for 2000 census activities in fiscal year 1999 (FY99). The committee approved the FY99 Commerce, Justice, State and The Judiciary spending bill with language adopted by the subcommittee on June 24 that only funds 2000 census work through March 31, 1999.

Subcommittee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) said the six-month funding provisions represented a deal reached last fall between the White House and congressional Republican leaders. The Administration disputes that characterization of the unwritten agreement, saying that the parties had agreed to fund the entire Commerce, Justice, State and The Judiciary bill only for the first half of FY99, in order to put pressure on both sides to resolve the sampling dispute early next year.

The committee-approved bill allocates $952 million for 2000 census activities, about $104 million more than the President had requested. The extra funds must be used to continue preparing for a census that doesn't use sampling methods to count the population. However, only one-half of the funds would be made available initially, to pay for census preparations through March 31, 1999. The Commerce Departmentsaid that $476 million would fund 2000 census work only through mid-January.

The second half of the allocation would not be made available until the President requests release of the funds and Congress enacts a new bill authorizing the Bureau to spend the remaining $476 million. The language directs Congress to act by March 31 but does not spell out any consequences if Congress and the Administration fail to reach an agreement on releasing the rest of the money. The bill also provides $4 million for the Census Monitoring Board.

Rep. Mollohan offered an amendment to remove the restrictions on the full $952 million allocation. The amendment would have allowed the Bureau to continue planning for a census that includes sampling unless the Supreme Court rules that the methods are unconstitutional or unlawful. It also would have required continued planning for a census without statistical methods until the Supreme Court disposed of the two pending legal challenges to the use of sampling in the census. The Mollohan amendment directed the National Academy of Sciences to determine whether the Bureau's 2000 census plan was the most feasible way to produce an accurate count of the population.

Critical work to finish compiling the address list (called the Master Address File) starts this summer and continues through 1999. The Bureau also plans to award a contract for questionnaire printing by the end of this year; the contractor must begin work in April to ensure that census forms are ready to be mailed by mid-March of 2000. The full House is tentatively scheduled to take up the Commerce spending bill next week. Rep. Mollohan, the senior Democrat on the appropriations subcommittee that funds the Census Bureau, noted that the President has indicated he will veto the funding bill if the final version still contains the six-month restriction.


Bill Also Aims to Boost Census Employment Opportunities
Among Recipients of Federal Benefits

The committee adopted a provision sponsored by Rep. Carrie Meek (D-FL) that would allow the recipients of Federal benefits to work as temporary census employees without counting that income in determining their eligibility for those programs. The Meek language was included in a larger amendment offered by Rep. Rogers and accepted by voice vote without discussion. Rep. Meek also criticized the advertising campaign being developed by the New York-based firm of Young & Rubicam, saying it was not effective in reaching minority communities. The report that accompanies the appropriations bill may incorporate Rep. Meek's concerns.


Controversy Over Deleting "Real People" from the Census Continues

Rep. Dan Miller (R-FL), chairman of the House census subcommittee and a member of the appropriations panel, did not, as some observers expected, offer an amendment in today's committee mark-up to prohibit the Census Bureau from subtracting "real people" from the census. Rep. Miller said last week that he plans to introduce such a bill, which his oversight panel could consider without scheduling a hearing to review the issue. The chairman said he does not want the Bureau to throw out forms with data collected from "real people" as part of the plan to eliminate overcounts in the census through the 750,000 household quality-check survey. The Bureau has said that it does not discount any questionnaires collected from actual people except to eliminate duplicates or clearly fraudulent forms.

Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at (202) 484-2270 or, by e-mail at terriann2k@aol.com. Please direct all requests to receive News Alerts, and all changes in address/phone/fax/e-mail, to Keri Monihan at kmonihan@ccmc.org or 202/326-8728. Please feel free to circulate this information to colleagues and other interested individuals.

Source: Linda Gage, State Data Center Listserve News Alert, July 15, 1998; redistributed by Beverly Railsback, U. S. Documents Librarian, New Jersey State Library, P. O. Box 520, Trenton, N. J. 08625-0520; Phone: 609-292-6259; Fax: 609-984-7900; E-mail: railsbac@njsl.tesc.edu, July 16, 1998.

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(13) Census 2000 Update, July 16, 1998


Congressional Appropriations Activity: Update and Correction

In recent weeks, Congress has moved rapidly to consider funding for the final year of census preparations, as well as policy decisions affecting the accuracy, conduct, and scope of the 2000 count. The Senate and House Appropriations Committees have approved their respective versions of the Fiscal Year 1999 Commerce, Justice, State, and The Judiciary spending bills, which provide funding from October 1, 1998 through September 30, 1999. Both chambers are likely to take up the measures before Congress heads home for the August recess; negotiations to resolve differences between the two bills, as well as disagreements with the Administration, will likely intensify after Labor Day.

Following is additional information related to the actions so far, as well as a correction of information included in yesterday's News Alert:

House of Representatives: The House Appropriations Committee approved its Commerce spending bill yesterday. We incorrectly reported that the committee approved an amendment sponsored by Rep. Carrie Meek (D-FL) that would allow the recipients of Federal benefits to work in temporary census jobs without counting the income earned in determining their eligibility for benefits or reducing the amount of the benefits. Rep. Meek agreed to withdraw her amendment so that legislators could further review cost and operational issues, including whether Congress can make changes in program eligibility requirements determined by the states. We apologize for the error.

The committee did approve a catch-all amendment offered by subcommittee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) affecting various parts of the spending bill. That amendment includes a provision calling for greater targeting of paid advertisements during the 2000 census to ensure effective outreach to minority communities.

The amendment offered by Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) to remove restrictions on full-year funding for 2000 census preparations drew the most heated debate. Rep. Rogers argued that the committee was simply carrying out an agreement reached last fall between the President and House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) to provide only six months of funding for the 2000 census, forcing the parties to resolve the controversy over sampling methods early next year. Rep. Mollohan disputed that description of last year's agreement and said that the six-month funding scheme would put the entire census at risk of failure. Rep. David Obey (D-WI), the committee's senior Democrat who opposes sampling methods, said he supported Rep. Mollohan's amendment because any interruption in funding could jeopardize the accuracy of any census, regardless of the methods used.

Rep. Dan Miller (R-FL) said that Congress, not the National Academy of Sciences, is responsible for the census and should make the decision on how to conduct it. He was referring to a provision in the Mollohan amendment directing the National Academy of Sciences to review the status of census preparations and report to Congress by March 31. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) responded by saying that Congress directed NASA to put a man on the moon but didn't design the spaceship. The committee defeated the Mollohan amendment on a strictly party-line vote of 22 - 31. The report that accompanies the spending bill, which often sheds more light on the committee's concerns and intent, is not yet available.

Senate: The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the Commerce spending bill on June 25. The measure allocates $848.5 million in FY99 for 2000 census activities, the amount requested by the President. The bill also directs the Commerce Department to provide quarterly reports on the status of census preparations.

In the report accompanying the bill, the committee said it had "grave concerns" about plans for the 2000 census and that the census was "at risk of failure" if improvements aren't made. The report raises concerns about the accuracy of address lists and development of software to detect duplicate forms, noting that the new software was not tested in the Dress Rehearsal taking place in three sites around the country. The Senate committee did not directly address the controversy over sampling methods except to note concerns about the reliability of cost estimates to prepare for a census without sampling.

The Senate panel also weighed in on the question of including Americans living overseas in the census, although no hearings have been held on the issue. In its report, the committee directed the Census Bureau to work with the State Department to count Americans living abroad in the census. With two exceptions, the census has only included people living in the United States on Census Day.

In 1970, with tens of thousands of soldiers fighting in Vietnam, the Bureau tallied military personnel stationed overseas for the purposes of the state population totals used for apportionment. In 1990, at the urging of Congress, the Bureau included all military and federal civilian employees and their dependents stationed abroad during the census in the state counts, assigning them to their "home of record" (the place of enlistment for members of the armed forces). The increased population counts caused a congressional seat to shift from Massachusetts to Washington, but the Supreme Court rejected a challenge from Massachusetts, saying that the Census Bureau had the authority to include government employees working abroad.

The task of including overseas personnel in the 1990 census was not an easy one. Congress, the Bureau, the Defense Department, and the Office of Personnel Management struggled for months to select the fairest criteria for assigning people not living here to a particular state. Many Federal agencies, including Defense, also found that their personnel records did not always include information on an employee's home state.

Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at (202) 484-2270 or, by e-mail at terriann2k@aol.com. Please direct all requests to receive News Alerts, and all changes in address/phone/fax/e-mail, to Keri Monihan at kmonihan@ccmc.org or 202/326-8728. Please feel free to circulate this information to colleagues and other interested individuals.

Source: Linda Gage, State Data Center Listserve News Alert, July 16, 1998; redistributed by Beverly Railsback, U. S. Documents Librarian, New Jersey State Library, P. O. Box 520, Trenton, N. J. 08625-0520; Phone: 609-292-6259; Fax: 609-984-7900; E-mail: railsbac@njsl.tesc.edu, July 16, 1998.

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(14) Census 2000 Update, July 21, 1998


Senate Begins Debate on Census Funding

The Senate is set to begin consideration of the Census Bureau's funding bill for the next fiscal year. The measure approved by the Appropriations Committee (S. 2260) allocates $848 million for 2000 census work but the Senate so far has avoided the controversy over the use of scientific methods which will likely dominate debate when the House takes up the Fiscal Year 1999 Commerce, Justice, State, and The Judiciary Appropriations bill.

The House Rules Committee will set the terms for floor debate on Wednesday; the House is expected to begin consideration of its spending bill on Thursday. In a July 16 written statement, Secretary of Commerce William Daley said that the six-month funding limit on 2000 census work approved by the House Appropriations Committee "would put the success of the Census 2000, whatever the design used, in serious jeopardy." He warned that the initial allocation of only $476 million would force the Census Bureau to suspend census preparations in late January 1999. The consequences include delays in completing address list development, opening local census offices, hiring and training local staff, and awarding contracts for questionnaire printing and data processing equipment, according to the Secretary's statement. To receive the remainder of the year's funds, Secretary Daley said, the Bureau "would be forced to agree to a plan it does not endorse."

Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV), senior Democrat on the Commerce appropriations subcommittee, will ask the Rules panel to let him offer an amendment to remove the funding cap when the House takes up the Commerce spending bill. The Mollohan amendment, which was defeated in a party-line vote in committee on July 15, also requires the Bureau to continue planning for two different censuses -- one that uses scientific methods and one that doesn't - until the Supreme Court rules on legal challenges to the constitutionality and legality of sampling. In a July 15 letter to Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston (R-LA), Office of Management and Budget head Jacob Lew said that the President's senior advisers would recommend a veto of the Commerce spending bill if it includes the restrictions on full funding for 2000 census activities.


Hispanic Legislators Weigh-In

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus plans a press conference at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 22, at the House Triangle, to call for unrestricted full funding for the 2000 census. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said last week that Hispanic legislators would "hold this Congress hostage" if congressional leaders refused to drop the six-month funding cap for the 2000 census. "[W]e're not going to let all these folks that deserve to be counted be held hostage by this Congress because the Congress is unwilling to provide the dollars to fund the census properly," Becerra said after a meeting with Vice President Albert Gore to discuss efforts to ensure an accurate count. Census Bureau evaluations showed that the 1990 count missed almost five percent of Hispanic Americans.


Bill Introduced to Add Internet Questions to Census Long Form

Rep. Dan Miller (R-FL), chairman of the House census subcommittee, and Rep. Rick White (R-WA) introduced a bill (H.R. 4270) on July 17 to require the addition of two questions on the census long form. The new questions would ask if the household has a personal computer and if the household is connected to the Internet. In a written statement, Chairman Miller said that "it is appropriate that we use the 2000 census to get a handle on just how widespread home computers and Internet access have become." H.R. 4270 was referred to the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight; no hearings have been scheduled yet.

In March 1997, the Census Bureau submitted to Congress the subject matters of questions it plans to ask in the 2000 census. The Bureau only included the collection of data that is required to implement a federal law or program. The 2000 census schedule calls for awarding a contract for questionnaire printing by the end of this year; printing must begin in April 1999.


Upcoming Briefing

The National Council of Women's Organizations is sponsoring a briefing, "Down for the Count? How the Census Affects Women and Families." The event will be on July 24, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m., in room 2203 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. Please call Pat Reuss or Elsa Fan, at 202/544-4470, for further information (RSVP not required).


Stakeholder Activities

The Census 2000 Initiative and the Leadership Conference Education Fund hosted an educational briefing for reporters at the National Press Club on July 20. Three census experts talked about the best ways to ensure an accurate census and answered questions about the use of scientific methods to supplement direct counting efforts. The panelists were Dr. Eugene Ericksen, Temple University, co-chair of the Special Advisory Panel that advised the Secretary of Commerce on adjustment of the 1990 census; Dr. Robert Hill, Morgan State University, noted author of books on the black family and a member of the Census Bureau's Advisory Committee on the African American Population; and Dr. Lynne Billard, University of Georgia, former President of the American Statistical Association who created a blue ribbon panel in 1996 to examine the use of sampling methods to improve census accuracy and contain costs.

Secretary of Commerce William Daley plans to discuss the 2000 census lan in a speech to the National Conference of State Legislatures in Las egas on July 22. NCSL is a member of the Secretary's 2000 Census dvisory Committee.


Miscellaneous

The U.S. General Accounting Office has issued a report on the history of key policy issues affecting the census. The report, "Decennial Census: Overview of Historical Census Issues" (GAO/GGD-98-103, May 1998) can be ordered by calling 202/512-6000 or writing to GAO at P.O. Box 37050, Washington, D.C. 20013. GAO's web site is http://www.gao.gov.

We would like to apologize to those of you who receive our News Alerts by fax. Due to a technical glitch, multiple copies of the latest News Alert were sent out. We regret any inconvenience.

Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at (202) 484-2270 or, by e-mail at terriann2k@aol.com. Please direct all requests to receive News Alerts, and all changes in address/phone/fax/e-mail, to Keri Monihan at kmonihan@ccmc.org or 202/326-8728. Please feel free to circulate this information to colleagues and other interested individuals.

Source: Linda Gage, State Data Center Listserve News Alert, July 21, 1998; redistributed by Beverly Railsback, U. S. Documents Librarian, New Jersey State Library, P. O. Box 520, Trenton, N. J. 08625-0520; Phone: 609-292-6259; Fax: 609-984-7900; E-mail: railsbac@njsl.tesc.edu, July 27, 1998.

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(15) Census 2000 Update, July 31, 1998


Senate Committee Hears Dress Rehearsal Report From GAO

In testimony yesterday before a Senate committee, the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) gave the 2000 Census Dress Rehearsal a mixed report card, citing some successes and some challenges that the Bureau must address before the actual count 18 months from now. Similarly, committee members were divided in their assessment of the Census Bureau's ability to take an accurate count using only conventional methods or supplementing those methods with scientific ones.

GAO told members of the Committee on Governmental Affairs that staffing efforts and the pace of field operations were two early successes in the dry run. The Bureau had a lower-than-expected turnover rate among census takers and completed the door-to-door follow-up visits on or ahead of schedule in all three sites. GAO cautioned, however, that the successful recruitment and hiring in the dress rehearsal didn't mean that the Bureau had "licked the problem for 2000," given the magnitude of the actual census compared to the test run.

GAO warned that the Bureau "still faces major obstacles to a cost-effective census." The congressional auditors cited the following as its primary concerns: incomplete address lists and maps, low (though not unexpected) mail response rates, glitches with new data capture equipment, and the limited success of partnerships with local governments and community-based organizations. GAO encouraged the Bureau to reconsider its decision not to send a second questionnaire to all households, noting that the replacement form had boosted mail response rates in the dry run by seven percent.

Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) compared the status of census preparations to rail transportation, saying: "The train is on schedule but we're still not sure it's going to get there." The chairman also expressed concern that the use of sampling to supplement the direct counting effort put the census "in uncharted territory." He suggested that the Commerce Department's positive assessment of the dress rehearsal "did not square" with GAO's report of continuing problems.

Senator John Glenn (D-OH), the panel's senior Democrat, asked the GAO if conventional methods had "exhausted the[ir] potential" to count the population accurately. GAO concurred, saying that (constitutional and legal questions aside) they still believed that sampling is an appropriate tool to improve accuracy. "On average," GAO said, the Bureau's 2000 census design would improve the accuracy of the population figures for areas as small as census tracts, which include about 4,000 people. The auditors emphasized that implementation of the scientific methods still presented "enormous challenges," but withheld judgment of those operations because they were ongoing in the dress rehearsal. Critics of sampling have claimed that the methods would make the census counts less accurate in all places with a population of less than 100,000.


House Members Fire First Salvos in Debate Over Census Funding

The controversy over the proposed use of scientific methods in the census erupted with full force again as the House of Representatives took its initial step toward consideration of the Census Bureau's funding for Fiscal Year 1999 (FY99). On July 30, the House approved by voice vote the "rule" that governs the terms of debate for the Commerce, Justice, State and The Judiciary Appropriations bill. The rule grants two hours of debate, evenly divided between proponents and opponents, on an amendment to be offered by Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) which would lift the funding restriction on the 2000 census account. The bill (H.R. 4276) allocates $952 million for census preparations but only allows the Census Bureau to spend half of that amount until the dispute over the use of sampling is resolved next March. The House is expected to consider the Commerce appropriations bill early next week.

During debate on the rule, critics of the Bureau's plan compared the proposed use of sampling to polling while supporters of the plan argued that conventional methods alone would miss millions of Americans again. Rep. Mollohan emphasized that the Bureau's plan had been reviewed and endorsed by three expert panels convened by the National Academy of Sciences. Rep. Dan Miller (R-FL), chair of the census oversight subcommittee, responded that the Academy was "not beyond politics and sadly, I think, they've been used." Rep. Miller also charged that Dr. Charles Schultze, who headed one of the Academy panels, was a "Democratic political operative." Dr. Schultze served in the Johnson and Carter Administrations and is a former chair of the Office of Management and Budget and the Council of Economic Advisors.

Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), who heads the Commerce funding subcommittee, said that he only opposed the use of sampling methods to produce the counts used for congressional reapportionment and redistricting and did not object to the use of data derived partially through scientific methods for the allocation of Federal program funds.


Miscellaneous

The new Census Monitoring Board will meet on August 5 in Columbia, South Carolina, one of the three Census Dress Rehearsal sites, to continue its oversight of 2000 census preparations. The location, time and format of the meeting have not been announced.

Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at (202) 484-2270 or, by e-mail at terriann2k@aol.com. Please direct all requests to receive News Alerts, and all changes in address/phone/fax/e-mail, to Keri Monihan at kmonihan@ccmc.org or 202/326-8728. Please feel free to circulate this information to colleagues and other interested individuals.

Source: Linda Gage, State Data Center Listserve News Alert, July 31, 1998; redistributed by Beverly Railsback, U. S. Documents Librarian, New Jersey State Library, P. O. Box 520, Trenton, N. J. 08625-0520; Phone: 609-292-6259; Fax: 609-984-7900; E-mail: railsbac@njsl.tesc.edu, July 31, 1998.

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(16) Census 2000 Update, August 6, 1998


House Approves Funding Restriction on Census Operations, Rejecting Mollohan Amendment

Appropriators Also Say Operational Problems Put Census At Risk The House of Representatives yesterday approved, by a vote of 225 - 203, a $34 billion spending measure that includes $952 million for 2000 census preparations but withholds half of that amount until Congress and the Administration agree on a final census design by March 1999. On a mostly party line vote of 201 - 227, the House rejected an amendment offered by Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) to remove the funding restriction. The amendment also would have required the Census Bureau to continue planning for the census on dual tracks until the Supreme Court rules on two pending lawsuits challenging the constitutionality and legality of sampling in the census.

In two hours of debate, supporters and opponents of the 2000 census plan sparred over the validity of scientific methods to augment direct counting efforts, constitutional requirements, and the timing of a final resolution of the controversy over census methods. Rep. Mollohan said his goal was to "again focus the debate on issues of science and accuracy," and noted that the Bureau needed $644 million to carry out census preparations through March 1999, $169 million more than the funding bill allows. He warned that the funding split proposed by critics of the Bureau's plan would be "fatally destabiliz[e]" the census. Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), head of the Commerce appropriations subcommittee, said the two-part arrangement represented an agreement between the President and congressional Republican leaders last November to resolve the dispute over methods next spring. The President was afraid that his "radical plan for polling" would not withstand public scrutiny, Rogers said.

Rep. Dan Miller (R-FL), chair of the census oversight panel, praised parts of the Bureau's 2000 plan, including the move to paid advertising. He condemned the proposed use of scientific methods, however, saying that the Bureau will "intentionally not count 26 or 27 million people," but instead will use "cloning techniques" to create a "virtual population." Rep. Miller suggested that administrative records, including data on Medicaid recipients, could help reduce the undercount. The Census Bureau decided not to collect social security numbers after tests showed a significant drop in response if people are asked to give that information. Social security numbers would be needed to access most government records. Rep. Tom Sawyer (D-OH), who headed the census subcommittee during the last census, pointed out that direct counting methods resulted in a large number of mistakes in 1990, including a 38 percent error rate during the final weeks of the door-to-door visits.

The Fiscal Year 1999 Commerce, State, Justice, and The Judiciary Appropriations bill (H.R. 4276) also includes $4 million for the Census Monitoring Board. The Senate passed its version of the funding measure (S. 2260) on July 23. A conference committee of the House and Senate must resolve differences between the two bills, and both chambers must give final approval to the conference agreement, before sending it to the President for a signature or veto.


Appropriators Also Say Operational Problems Put Census At Risk

While the controversy over sampling continued to dominate public debate, House appropriators also raised serious concerns about the progress of certain key census preparations. In a written report explaining provisions of the Commerce bill in more detail, the funding committee noted that the Bureau faces problems with "every major component and activity of the Census plan," including address list development, outreach, and computer software to weed out duplicate forms. The fiscal year 1999 bill includes $32 million above the Bureau's request for additional promotion and outreach efforts and $82 million more to open local census offices earlier than originally planned. The committee directed the Bureau to provide Congress with monthly reports on how it was spending its 2000 census funds.

Census Monitoring Board activities: On August 5, the Census Monitoring Board visited Columbia, South Carolina, one of three sites where the Census Bureau is trying out procedures for the 2000 census. The Bureau agreed last year to conduct a dry run without using scientific sampling methods in Columbia and eleven surrounding rural counties. The Monitoring Board also planned to hear testimony from Regional Census Bureau Director Susan Hardy and local government officials and community leaders.

Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at (202) 484-2270 or, by e-mail at terriann2k@aol.com. Please direct all requests to receive News Alerts, and all changes in address/phone/fax/e-mail, to Keri Monihan at kmonihan@ccmc.org or 202/326-8728. Please feel free to circulate this information to colleagues and other interested individuals.

Source: Linda Gage, State Data Center Listserve News Alert, JAugust 6, 1998; redistributed by Beverly Railsback, U. S. Documents Librarian, New Jersey State Library, P. O. Box 520, Trenton, N. J. 08625-0520; Phone: 609-292-6259; Fax: 609-984-7900; E-mail: railsbac@njsl.tesc.edu, August 7, 1998.

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(17) Census 2000 Update, August 24, 1998


Federal Court Finds Law Bars Census Sampling Methods

Summary: Commerce Department Will Appeal to Supreme Court; Three-Judge District Court Panel Avoids Constitutional Question

A federal district court panel ruled unanimously today that a census statute bars the use of sampling methods to produce the population counts used to reapportion seats in Congress. The opinion, written by Judge Royce Lamberth, was issued in the case of U.S. House of Representatives v. U.S. Department of Commerce, filed at the direction of Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) to stop the Census Bureau from using scientific methods in the 2000 census. The special three-judge panel heard the case on June 11. Judge Lamberth was joined by Judges Douglas Ginsburg and Ricardo Urbina in his opinion. A copy of the 31-page decision is available on the internet at http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov.

The court found that the plaintiffs had legal "standing" to bring their lawsuit, which the Justice Department, representing the Commerce Department and Census Bureau, had disputed. The court wrote that Congress intended to prohibit the use of sampling methods to conduct the population count when it amended the Census Act (title 13, United States Code) in 1974. One provision of that statute (section 195) requires the Secretary of Commerce to use sampling techniques whenever possible to collect census and other survey data, except for purposes of apportionment. Another provision of the law (section 141) requiring a census every ten years allows the Secretary to conduct the count using any methods, including sampling. Several federal district and appellate courts have considered those apparently conflicting provisions in cases dating back to the 1980 census and have found that the law does not bar sampling to supplement a "good faith" direct counting effort.

In a joint statement, Congressional Census Caucus Co-Chairs Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Christopher Shays (R-CT) said that they expected the Supreme Court to decide the issue ultimately. Former Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder (D-CO), who chaired the census subcommittee when the contested provisions of the law were enacted, said that the court's opinion "directly contradicted the intent of Congress" in amending the Census Act. Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe called the ruling a "temporary blow" and said the history of the statute "[doesn't] provide any basis" for the court's interpretation.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, released a statement that opened with the following quote: "Americans for Tax Reform welcomes the court's rejection of this blatantly illegal scheme to advance the agenda of the forces of big government." The court did not rule on whether the Constitution also prevented the use of sampling and statistical methods in the census, saying that it did not need to reach that question since it believed Congress had barred the methods by law. In the major lawsuit challenging the accuracy of the 1990 census, the Supreme Court found that Article I, section 2, of the Constitution gives Congress "virtually unlimited discretion" in how to conduct the census.

A second lawsuit challenging the constitutionality and legality of sampling, Glavin v. Clinton, was heard by a three-judge district court panel in Roanoke, Virginia on August 7. Matthew Glavin, head of the Atlanta-based Southeastern Legal Foundation, and Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA) filed suit on February 12 to stop the Census Bureau from carrying out its 2000 census plan.

Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at (202) 484-2270 or, by e-mail at terriann2k@aol.com. Please direct all requests to receive News Alerts, and all changes in address/phone/fax/e-mail, to Keri Monihan at kmonihan@ccmc.org or 202/326-8728. Please feel free to circulate this information to colleagues and other interested individuals.

Source: Linda Gage, State Data Center Listserve News Alert, August 24, 1998; redistributed by Beverly Railsback, U. S. Documents Librarian, New Jersey State Library, P. O. Box 520, Trenton, N. J. 08625-0520; Phone: 609-292-6259; Fax: 609-984-7900; E-mail: railsbac@njsl.tesc.edu, August 24, 1998.

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(18) Census 2000 Update, September 2, 1998


Partisan Gymnastics Sully Census
Michele Jacklin, Hartford Courant, August 28,1998

The next time you're at the beach, try counting the grains of sand while the wind is blowing. Asking the U.S. Census Bureau to accurately count the noses of nearly 270 million Americans, even when the wind isn't blowing, is every bit as daunting a task.

As such, this week's federal court decision invalidating the government's plan to use statistical sampling in the 2000 census defies common sense.

With job security a thing of the past, a soft economy spawning population shifts and more people living with relatives or becoming homeless, it's unlikely that the net cast by census head-counters will snare everyone. Add to that migratory mix those city residents who move at the drop of a hat, often without leaving a forwarding address, and the challenge of producing a precise count is akin to nailing Jell-O to the wall.

That's why the 1990 census was the first in this nation's history to be less accurate than the one before. About 8.4 million Americans were missed and 4.4 million were counted twice or in the wrong place.

"Why should it matter?" you ask, stifling a yawn.

Like most everything in life, it comes down to money. Hartford was the 6th most undercounted major city in the United States in 1990. Nearly 6,600 people were missed, the majority of them African American and Hispanic.

The 2000 census will determine the allocation of more than $182 billion in federal funds. Because that money will help pay for roads and mass transit, schools, senior citizen centers and children's programs such as Head Start and hot lunches, Hartford and other Connecticut cities ought to fight for every dime they can get. And that means counting each and every person.

This week, House Speaker Newt Gingrich applauded the federal court decision, calling statistical sampling an "illegal and unconstitutional scheme" perpetrated by the Clinton administration to manipulate the census for political gain.

In fact, it's the Republicans who are attempting to distort the population totals so as to undercount big-city, low-income and minority residents who tend, by and large, to vote Democratic (when they vote, which isn't often).

Also, the three-judge panel didn't rule on the constitutionality of sampling but on ambiguous language in the Census Act. Federal officials immediately said they will appeal the decision, which Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe, among other legal beagles, ascribed to a misreading of the federal law.

Prior to this month, all six Connecticut House members had been steadfast supporters of the sampling methodology, which is so reliable that it's used in calculating the nation's unemployment rate and Gross National Product.

But Republican Nancy L. Johnson of New Britain broke ranks in early August, voting to give the U.S. Census Bureau only half of its funding for next year and to release the balance in March if and when Congress votes on how the census should be done.

While Johnson's switch may seem innocent enough, Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, termed the GOP-engineered vote "a blatant and dangerous move to keep the bureau from even planning to implement statistical sampling as a counting method." The money is needed now because of important preparatory work, including the leasing of offices, hiring of employees, printing of questionnaires and purchase of computers.

David White, a spokesman for Johnson, said the congresswoman sided with Gingrich because of doubts that have been raised about the constitutionality of sampling and its statistical validity. To bolster his arguments, White cited reports done by the Census Monitoring Board, a bipartisan oversight group, and by the General Accounting Office.

However, the "unresolved issues" that prompted the GAO to suggest that the 2000 census could fail arose, in part, "because Congress and the administration have yet to reach agreement on key aspects of the census design." In other words, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy: Congress refuses to agree on a methodology so members can then argue that census designers are headed down the wrong path. A brilliant political strategy, if ultimately self-defeating.

In its report, the GAO went on to conclude that the steps necessary to carry out the sampling plan "are well under control and that, through the adjustments under way, the challenges will be met."

So, would it be unreasonable to infer that Johnson switched her vote because Gingrich needed every Republican (except GOP maverick Christopher Shays of Stamford, who refused to budge) to fall in line? The tally was 227-201.

You be the judge.

Michele Jacklin is The Courant's political columnist. Her column appears every Wednesday and Friday. To leave her a comment, please call (on a touch-tone phone) Courant Source at 246-1000 or (800) 246-8070; Source No. 6635.

Source: Linda Osten, Community Development Planner, Capitol Region Council of Governments, Hartford CT; e-mail: crcog@MAIL1.NAI.NET; redistributed by Beverly Railsback, U. S. Documents Librarian, New Jersey State Library, P. O. Box 520, Trenton, N. J. 08625-0520; Phone: 609-292-6259; Fax: 609-984-7900; E-mail: railsbac@njsl.tesc.edu, September 2, 1998.

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(19) Census 2000 Update, September 10, 1998


Supreme Court Sets Date for Oral Arguments

Summary:

  • At Hearing, Rep. Miller Says Sampling OK for Federal Aid, Not Apportionment; Rep. Maloney Presses Critics for Undercount Remedies
  • Stakeholders Renew Call for Full Funding or Veto; Senate Schedules Prewitt Nomination Hearing

    The United States Supreme Court announced today that it would hear oral arguments in the case of U.S. House of Representatives v. U.S. Department of Commerce, on November 30. A special three-judge federal district court ruled in the case last month that the Census Act barred the use of sampling and statistical methods to derive the census counts used for congressional apportionment. Congress provided for a speedy review of census challenges and a direct appeal to the Supreme Court. Both sides in the case had asked the high court to review the case quickly.

    At a hearing on Wednesday, the chairman of the House census subcommittee called on the Census Bureau to abandon a census plan that includes sampling to produce population counts for congressional apportionment but suggested that scientific methods could be used to produce data for distributing federal aid. Rep. Dan Miller (R-FL) also said it would be "unwise" to delay a final decision on the use of sampling until the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality and legality of the methods. He said it is time "to put the 'issue' of sampling to bed."

    Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who supports the Bureau's census plan, challenged the chairman "to propose a credible alternative" that will reduce the undercount. The subcommittee's senior Democrat chided panel Republicans for suggesting counting options, such as administrative records, without exposing the methods to a thorough review. She also accused sampling critics of having a "political agenda," citing a fundraising letter for a court challenge against sampling that included a Republican National Committee memo about the potential loss of Republican legislative seats if the Bureau's plan goes forward.

    Reps. Miller and Maloney made their remarks at a hearing yesterday to review the Census Bureau's effort to prepare for a census without sampling methods. Under Secretary of Commerce Robert Shapiro told the subcommittee that any lapse in funding for census preparations would put the entire census "at grave risk" by delaying completion of address lists, questionnaire printing, and opening of local offices. Mr. Shapiro noted that failure to reach agreement on the Bureau's 1999 funding bill by October 1 (the start of the fiscal year) could lead to a temporary funding measure that only allows spending at current levels (known as a Continuing Resolution). Without a steady increase in funds leading up to the actual census, the Bureau would be forced to lay off 22,000 address list employees immediately, he said.

    Mr. Shapiro also warned that the $476 million allocated by the House for 2000 census work through March 31, 1999 would only last through January, resulting in delays of all census preparations. Mr. Shapiro promised to present a full plan for a traditional census in November but cautioned that the Administration is likely to request additional funds in 1999 if it is required to proceed with that plan. Chairman Miller pledged to help ensure that the Census Bureau would be exempt from spending caps in a temporary funding measure and that it would receive sufficient funds to continue preparations on schedule through March 31. Stakeholders Call for Full Funding: At a Washington press conference on Tuesday, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights released a letter to Congress from Americans for a Fair and Accurate Census, calling for full, uninterrupted funding for 2000 census preparations. The coalition of religious and civil rights groups, children's and women's advocates, scientific associations, and local government officials said it would ask the President to veto any spending measure that limits funding to six months. Leaders of the National Council of La Raza, the Council of Great City Schools, and the Children's Defense Fund also spoke at the press event. The latter organization released a new analysis of how the undercount of children in 1990 affected education in 195 cities and counties across the country. According to the post-census survey conducted by the Census Bureau in 1990, 52 percent of those missed in the census were children.

    At yesterday's congressional hearing, Chairman Miller admonished the stakeholder groups for "blindly supporting an Administration on the brink of ruin" and not working with Congress to improve the census count without using sampling. The chairman, extending a self-described "olive branch," said he hoped stakeholders would help devise other ways to reach hard-to-count communities.

    Congressional hearings: The House Subcommittee on the Census will hold another hearing to review the proposed use of sampling in the 2000 census, focusing on the Integrated Coverage Measurement program. The hearing is scheduled for September 17, at 10:00 a.m., in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building.

    Census Bureau Director news: The Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, chaired by Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN), will hold a hearing on the nomination of Dr. Kenneth Prewitt to be director of the Census Bureau. President Clinton nominated Dr. Prewitt, who heads the Social Science Research Council in New York City, in June. The hearing is scheduled for September 17, at 10:00 a.m. in 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

    Census 2000 Initiative Web Site: The Census 2000 Initiative is pleased to announce that its web site is up and running. The site includes current and past News Alerts, fact sheets on key census policy issues, links to web sites for census stakeholder organizations, and a calendar of official census-related meetings and hearings. We hope you will visit our new site at http://www.census2000.org.

    Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at (202) 484-2270 or, by e-mail at terriann2k@aol.com. Please direct all requests to receive News Alerts, and all changes in address/phone/fax/e-mail, to Keri Monihan at kmonihan@ccmc.org or 202/326-8728. Please feel free to circulate this information to colleagues and other interested individuals.

    Source: Linda Gage, State Data Center Listserve News Alert, September 10, 1998; redistributed by Beverly Railsback, U. S. Documents Librarian, New Jersey State Library, P. O. Box 520, Trenton, N. J. 08625-0520; Phone: 609-292-6259; Fax: 609-984-7900; E-mail: railsbac@njsl.tesc.edu, September 11, 1998.

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