The Road to Wakanda: Census 2020

Does your community need more affordable housing units? Maybe you need more garbage collectors or more day care centers. Are there enough senior housing units in your community to accommodate the residents who live there? Perhaps you are considering opening a business and want to target a specific group. How many of them live in the community? What are their ages, ethnic group, education level? What percentage are gainfully employed?

An accurate census helps answer the above questions and more so that businesses and government can make informed decisions. “An accurate census helps provide funding for schools, health care, libraries and services in your community,” proclaims a brochure entitled “CountNYC,” provided by NYC Planning. In addition to English, it is written in 10 additional languages. The alarm has sounded. It is critical everyone is counted in Census 2020.

If the census numbers come in lower than what is actual, so will many other numbers like the electoral college votes. John Flateau, Medgar Evers College, reminds OTP readers that Clinton lost the election because she had fewer electoral college votes (

The census will determine how many electoral votes are assigned to each state. Right now, New York State is assigned 29 electoral votes and Florida is also assigned 29. Don’t forget President Trump won Florida and Clinton won New York. Do we want to run the risk of having fewer than 29 votes because our people have been undercounted?

President Trump plans to add a question to the census: “Is this person a citizen of the United States? Yes or No?” Even though the Census Bureau is forbidden from sharing data with the Immigration Department, the question scares the public. Many will not complete the census because of it. Politicians understand that, and New York is leading 17 states in a lawsuit against Trump to get the question removed even though the actual counting doesn’t begin until 2019.

In the last few weeks we have been inspired by “Black Panther” and visions of a Wakanda. We have been elevated by the oratory and mission of Dr. Martin Luther King. And Google celebrated Maya Angelou with a recording of “Still I Rise.” Let’s not fool ourselves. An empowered community will remain a fantasy, Dr. King’s speech will always be a dream, and we will never rise if communities are inaccurately counted. Empowering our community will take more than fantasy, oratory and poetry. Action is required. Making sure everyone is counted in the census is a critical step in that direction.

What you need to know about Census 2020:

  2. THE CENSUS IS TAKEN EVERY 10 YEARS. (Do we want to wait until 2030 to get it right?)
  3. ENUMERATORS ARE NEEDED (High School diploma and citizenship are the requirement. GOOGLE FOR DETAILS.)

Government with, by and for the people only works when all the people are counted.






Margo McKenzie

Margo McKenzie

After thirty-three years of dedicated service as an educator and administrator, I continue to teach and inspire through the gift of writing.

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