Ong on Prospects for Rectifying Census Count

Paul Ong, director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge at UCLA Luskin, gave KCRW’s Greater L.A. program an update on the 2020 Census. In a year upended by the COVID-19 pandemic and partisan recriminations, many fear a serious undercount that will deny vulnerable populations fair political representation and access to both public and private funding. Ong called for the mobilization of independent third parties to conduct followup research that identifies the neighborhoods and populations that have been left out so that the official count can be adjusted. “After the census, after the enumeration, we need to do serious analysis and serious research to understand the patterns of undercount,” he said. “Clearly, the Census Bureau should be doing that, but I don’t think they would do an adequate job.” Ong also spoke to the Orange County Register about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow the count to be halted immediately, noting, “Is our goal to count everyone, to be inclusive? … It’s important to establish that fact.”

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