ULEM 100th Anniversary and the 2020 Census (Pt. 1)

Urban League List of Problems 1919
Image from "The Vantage Point" newsletter published by ULEM/President Darnell Williams, dated 16-Feb-2019

The Urban League of Massachusetts Boston celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding on 16-May-2019. The ULEM newsletter "The Vantage Point" of 16-Feb-2019 featured this image of a typewritten list of problems as "viewed by the League" in 1919.

There are several items that had and still have implications beyond Boston's borders.

At the recent Equal Opportunity and Diversity Breakfast held at the State Street pavilion at Fenway Park, 14-May, diversity in employment was a prominent topic. Some companies related their hiring history consisting of who one knew/how one was related to existent employees; a practice they were in the process of changing.

The construction trade was another area that is undergoing similar change. Among these observations the phrase "There's much left to do" was repeated several times.

Some concerns of 1919 have given way to more broader focus. In 2020 the United States Census will once again be conducted.

At the Urban League Guild meeting on Saturday preceding the 100th anniversary, president Darnell Williams attended and gave the guild members a very informative presentation; one discussion centered on the communities of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan historically low participation in the census.

He said that many don't know that the census figures into allocation of funds from various government sources. (Subsequent research on the internet revealed it can have an adverse impact on philanthropic and non profit sources too.)

It also costs the state in political representation.

"And most importantly, an inaccurate census will
deprive communities of fair political representation in the U.S. Congress, the Electoral College and state and
local legislatures." -- To Be Equal #22 May 31, 2019 Congressional Hearing in Queens Highlights Challenges and
Importance of 2020 Census

Research shows there is significant distrust as to how responses to the census will be used, particularly the newly proposed citizenship question.

Given the past 2 or more years and what we're living through now, the choice is clear that if this distrust prevents full participation, there's a strong probability that dreadful (or worse?) consequences will be unavoidable.

In another post I will comment on more technical aspects to this burning issue, but it is plaintively obvious that merely ignoring the census because of being "too busy" or disinterested, is inimical to the interests of the community.

symbolic census overlay images
Composite image created from public domain images by Brandon Guillermo. All rights reserved 2019.