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NEW YORK (March 13, 2020) – National Urban League and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law today called on the Trump Administration to extend the deadline to respond to the decennial Census, in light of the coronavirus crisis.

“We are already in danger of undercounting communities of color and other hard-to-reach populations,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “In times of crisis, these communities and low-income families are disproportionately burdened. An undercount would only compound the damage.”

Morial and Lawyers’ Committee president & executive director Kristen Clarke have reached out personally to the Census Bureau to discuss the appropriate extension.

Census forms began arriving in households by mail this week, and the civil rights groups have encouraged people to respond online or by phone as soon as they are able, to reduce the burden on in-person enumerators, who are set to canvassing households during May and June.

Because the deadline to deliver information to Congress is set by statute, it’s important that Congress and the Administration work together to make accommodations for anyone affected by the crisis. 

“Coronavirus may limit the ability of in-person enumerators to reach the households we desperately need to reach,” Clarke said. “It’s vital that we spread the word about how to respond, with accuracy and timeliness.”

More information is available on the National Urban League’s Census website, www.MakeBlackCount.org.