Philanthropic institutions unite to file amicus brief opposing census citizenship question

amicus briefSilicon Valley Community Foundation is proud to be among thirty philanthropic institutions to file an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the proposed census citizenship question and make sure everyone counts!

The brief was filed on Monday April 1, and as Philanthropy California describes, “Philanthropic organizations across the country took the unusual step of filing an amicus brief asking the United States Supreme Court to consider the harm an undercount in the upcoming 2020 Census will have on philanthropy’s mission which relies on a complete census count for data-driven investments and solutions tailored to their communities.”

The amici include national, regional, state, and community-based institutions, private foundations and community foundations.

“I am so proud that our organization is part of this,” says Vice President of Government Relations Gina Dalma. “We know that adding a citizenship question to the census will lead to an inaccurate count, specifically in important groups that have been historically undercounted like immigrants, children and low-income families. We have a voice and we need to ensure we are using it to support those that are voiceless.”

Working toward a fair, accurate 2020 Census is one of SVCF’s institutional priorities for the coming year. In addition to signing the amicus brief, we have published a census guide for community foundations, engaged in Local Update of Census Address (LUCA) operations in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and opened a census RFP with the goal of supporting organizations working on education and outreach, as part of with Bay Area Census Funders Collaborative.

“As an immigrant myself, the census matters to me because I want to tell people that I’m here, that I’m part of this community, and that I count,” says Immigration Program Officer Anne Im, who has more than 20 years of experience working with immigrant communities. “The role of philanthropy is important -- we can infuse extra dollars into the census and to activate networks to encourage participation. The census is the ultimate example of collaboration,” she says, explaining how our pooled fund will provide grants to community-based organizations and support projects reaching hard-to-count populations.

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