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Congressman Don Young Sends Letter to U.S. Census Director Urging an Extension of Census Data Collection Operations

Washington, D.C. – Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young sent a letter to Census Bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham, urging him to reverse plans to move up the field data collection deadline to September 30th from its original date of October 31st. This week, Congressman Young met with Census officials at the U.S. Census Field Office in Anchorage. For video remarks following his meeting, click here.

Excerpts from the letter:

Dear Director Dillingham,

I am writing to you today to request that you extend the deadline for the end of field data collection from September 30 back to the date of October 31 that you and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced on April 13, 2020.  The plan you announced last April acknowledged the devastating impact that the COVID-19 pandemic was having on the ability of the Census to implement a complete and accurate count.  The operations that were delayed and disrupted in Alaska and throughout the country were done to protect the health and safety of census workers and local communities.  But the time lost and other disruptions caused by this delay mean that Census workers will not be able to finish a complete and accurate count by the end of September…

… If the count is cut short now, we will suffer the largest inaccuracy in counting of any state and that will be reflected by a loss of federal funding for services like schools, infrastructure improvements, economic development, Medicaid, and countless other vital programs.  An accurate census count is more important now, as we continue to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Current pandemic relief funds have been allocated based on 2010 census data, and a complete and accurate count this year will ensure that pandemic recovery funding and other resources, such as medical supplies and equipment, are directed to where they are most needed in coming years.

To read the full letter, click here.

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