On May 9, the House voted to eliminate funding for the American Community Survey (ACS) in its Federal Fiscal Year 2013 (FFY13) Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill. The Senate is expected to mark up its FFY13 Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill the week of May 21.
The adverse consequences of these proposals are widespread and would affect the nation's ability to meet the needs of Americans through wise allocation of resources, monitor the nation's economic recovery, and meet our constitutional obligation to conduct an accurate census in 2020.
WHY THE ACS IS IMPORTANT:
- ACS is the only source of objective, consistent, and comprehensive information about the nation's social, economic, and demographic characteristics down to the neighborhood level;
- The importance of high-quality, objective, and universal ACS data for public and private sector decision-makers cannot be overstated;
- The federal government alone allocates more than $450 billion annually in program funds to state and local governments based in whole or in part on ACS data;
- Federal law, directly or indirectly, requires all of the information gathered in the ACS (i.e. Congress requested the data directly, or created a program that relies on data for implementation, enforcement, or monitoring, for which the census or ACS are the only sources);
- The Voting Rights Act relies on ACS data to make determinations under section 203, which requires jurisdictions with a high percentage of people who are not proficient in the English language to offer bilingual voting materials; there is no other source for this data;
- Businesses of all sizes rely on ACS data every day to make vital decisions about where to locate and expand what goods and services to offer, the scope of employee training needed, and long term investment opportunities;
- Nonprofit organizations use the ACS to guide services to those most in need and to measure the success of their programs.
We should not leave the nation in such a precarious decision-making vacuum and hinder its economic recovery and future growth. We should not jeopardize the fair and wise allocation of limited taxpayer dollars by undermining the only source of reliable data to guide those allocations.
Take Action Now!
Call your United States Senator and tell them to:
Save the American Community Survey & Preserve Funding to U.S. Census Bureau
Use the following link to find out who your U.S. Senators phone and/or email address:
Dan Coats (R - IN)
439 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Web Form: www.coats.senate.gov/contact/
Richard Lugar (R - IN)
306 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Web Form: www.lugar.senate.gov/contact/