The Supreme Court of the United States Temporarily Blocks Citizenship Question; Our Fight for an Accurate Count Continues.

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States blocked, for now, the citizenship question from being added to the 2020 Census. While this decision is an important victory for fairness, justice, and democracy, there is still significant work ahead to ensure a fair and accurate count of all Californians – and the future of our state.

Despite today’s decision, unprecendented challenges remain to counting all California residents. The prospect of a citizenship question, along with this administration’s hostile immigration policies, threaten to seriously dampen Census participation by immigrants and refugees of all statuses, regardless of the question’s inclusion. To counteract this toxic climate, funders across the state and nation have already united to ensure that every person is counted. Many are investing millions of dollars in Census efforts and advocating for a fair and accurate count.

Philanthropy California, in partnership with the Bauman Foundation and Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP), led and signed onto an amicus brief with 30 philanthropic institutions to highlight the harm an undercount would have on philanthropy’s mission. Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) is leading the California Census 2020 Statewide Funders’ Initiative, a collaborative of over forty funders coordinating efforts to ensure hard-to-count populations are counted and to strengthen the movement infrastructure throughout the state.

Yet California’s sprawling geography and massive immigrant population—one in four residents is foreign-born and half of the state’s children have an immigrant parent—makes our state very difficult to count. The current level of California’s investment in the Census, although unprecedented, is not sufficient to reach all our communities. Philanthropy California and GCIR will continue to work together to ensure that all Californians, regardless of their immigration status, are counted. Whether your foundation has been supporting Census efforts or is new to the fight, we urge you to support the significant opportunities that remain:

  • Register for a post-decision funder debrief on July 1 at 1:00 pm PST, hosted by FCCP's Funders Census Initiative, Democracy Funders Collaborative Census Subgroup, and United Philanthropy Forum.
  • Increase funding to current partners and grantees working to encourage full participation, particularly of hard-to-count communities, in the Census.
  • Invest in litigation and advocacy work, including both rapid response grants to support ongoing legal challenges and a broader proactive strategy to ensure that Census data remains protected and confidential.
  • Contribute to a pooled fund(s) that targets hard-to-count geographic regions.


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