Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:
Pinal County should not have been surprised by the 80,000 census undercount. While the Supervisors laughed at their counsel's observation of a 10% decrease in undocumented residents, they ignored the undercount’s serious elephantine history.
Unmentioned was the thankfully former president's 2019 Executive Order 13880 that politicized the 2020 census by imposing a biased citizenship question eventually blocked by the Supreme Court as based on contrived evidence.
I agree with the county's adviser that correcting the undercount would be long and costly, but disagree that uniting with other counties and municipalities facing loss of funding and congressional representation would hurt Pinal County's case.
In last year's final days, Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform prophetically warned that because of Trump’s politicization of the census, "the census count risks being inaccurate and incomplete."
Responding to those concerns, Republican Congressman Don Young and Democrat Ruben Gallego teamed up to extend the deadline for census data collection and processing. Implementation of those bipartisan remedial actions now demands vigorous investigation.
Pinal County should seek a similar bipartisan effort to correct the universally acknowledged inaccurate undercount.
The Census Bureau has scheduled a 2020 Census Count Question Resolution program designed to ensure housing and population counts are correctly allocated.
We should all demand our Supervisors and all Arizona local, county, state and tribal governments to participate in the CQR and vigorously advocate for our undercounted communities.
Our communities deserve all possible remedies be exhausted to fulfill the constitutional mandate for a complete and accurate census.