- German authorities grab suspected hardline Islamist
- Rare lesbian HIV transmission case turns up in Texas
- Obama economy: Rich get richer, as millionaires’ list grows
- Army’s ‘Most Wanted’ fugitive on lam since 1977 nabbed in Florida
- ‘Seinfeld’-loving fraudsters busted on ID theft — of Eric Holder
- Spain, Morocco break up jihadist recruitment cell, arrest 7
- Muslim insurgents shoot then set on fire Buddhist teacher in Thailand
- Air Force cadets ‘revolt’ after officials remove biblical verse from whiteboard
- Rep. Lee: Paul Ryan out of touch with urban Americans
- House votes down resolution to force Issa to apologize
Blacks seek urban efforts for census
The nation's black leaders, weary of problems with the U.S. census that have led to fewer blacks being counted over the past decades, called on Obama administration officials to increase their outreach to urban communities as they ramp up for next year's survey.
The plan to target minority communities is inadequate, but progress is being made to avoid disenfranchisement of black communities in the decennial survey, said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People President Ben Jealous and National Urban League Chief Executive Marc Morial on Wednesday after meeting with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and leaders of the 2010 census.
The coalition will continue pushing the administration to avoid another undercount by relying on political heavy-hitters rather than celebrities, Mr. Sharpton said.
"When you we see NAACP President Ben Jealous and Marc Morial, we know it is serious. When we see entertainers, we can relax; we know it's boogie-woogie time. It's not boogie-woogie time. This is serious time," Mr. Sharpton said.
Mr. Morial said that the group was happy with steps that have been taken so far by the Obama administration but that not enough is being budgeted to pay for advertising and outreach to minority communities who have been underrepresented in the past.
"African-Americans and other minority communities have been consistently undercounted in past censuses so we're grateful to the respected leaders we met with for their commitment to achieving an accurate count. The ongoing conversation we continued today will be valuable as Census Day approaches and we progress toward our goal of ensuring that every U.S. resident is accurately counted," Mr. Locke said.
Census organizers are set to begin counting in Alaska in January, and have set a rough deadline for households to return their forms by April 1. After that, census workers are set to begin knocking on doors and begin a paid advertising campaign, Census Director Robert Groves said Monday.
The undercounting of minorities improved between the 1990 and the 2000 census, but 3 million blacks were still missed in the last count, the leaders said.
Republican lawmakers raised concerns earlier this year that the census may use statistical sampling techniques to mitigate the undercounting, but Mr. Groves told members of a Senate panel that he would not use that technique.
Census numbers are used to determine the size and shape of congressional districts and distribution of federal funds.
Coalition members also said they want to see something done to count the nation's prisoners, many of whom are black, in their home districts rather than the location of the prisons.
"We still think there are significant steps that need to be taken to ensure there is a complete and full count in the U.S. census," Mr. Morial said.
The group plans to meet with administration officials again after the start of the year.
About the Author
Tom LoBianco has covered energy and environmental policy, including the climate change bill making its way through Congress. From 2007 to 2008, he covered Maryland politics from the Times’s Annapolis bureau. Tom hold’s a master’s degree in political science from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park. He spent two and a ...
TWT Video Picks
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
- EXCLUSIVE: FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
- F-35 secrets now showing up in Chinas stealth fighter
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- College group's diversity event canceled after excluding white people
- PRUDEN: Sink sank own campaign in Florida special election
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- U.S.: Malaysia plane's on-board communications purposely shut down
- EDITORIAL: Lois Lerner's dilemma
- USS Kidd sent to Indian Ocean after 'indication' of Malaysian jet crash
- Ben Carson: America's now 'very much like Nazi Germany'
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014