Sense US!

Packed refrigerators, cabin fever, grumpy kids, depressed adults, weird dreams, zoom fatigue, dusty houses, oxygen meters, piled cardboard, emerging beards, unintentional balliage, broken washers, aimless walks, mask rage…..

Amidst all the concerns of this venal virus, yet another casualty with long lasting consequences is the 2020 Census. It’s that old reliable index of population counts – every ten years for the past eight decades.

Borrring! BUT brilliant! How else to know how many Representatives in Congress; where to put in highways or railways; how much federal money to give to older people; where companies should invest based on generational growth and demographics?

Page from the United States federal census for New York’s South Ward, 1790
Courtesy Museum of New York City

At the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Southern white slave owners gained more electoral votes in presidential elections by devising the disgraceful solution to increase their representation: by counting three-fifths of each of their enslaved persons.

I’ve been pushing and promoting and tracking this typically sleeper issue for the past six months (we created a preview/tutorials called to help increase the count among older people – now doubly hit with digital timidity, fewer post boxes, and fear of allowing in strangers – and yet to mention confusing mailings, conflicting information, and shortened timetables.

I realized and tweeted the truth – that after this pandemic has gone away, the consequences of the count will endure – in less funding, representation, and access.

TEN YEARS of deprivation because of six months of inaction. What would help, I wonder? Threats? Celebrities? door-to-door? All we could think of was a safe, friendly test drive. So far, those needing most support are the least likely to submit their information. on this date, most states are still missing about a third of their people. Here’s where I found that (how do they know the percent if they don’t know the actual numbers today?)

And the whole thing ends in 60 days!