Atlanta Mayor Accuses Trump Of Shutting Down Census Count

Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is putting the Trump Administration on blast for shutting down the census count a month early, with 40% of her city’s residents yet to be counted.

While 87.5% of Georgians overall have completed their census, through a combination of self reporting and census takers going door-to-door, the state’s most diverse city is nowhere near finished with its count, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Given that we are in the midst of a pandemic, given the natural disasters that we are facing, it really is inexplicable that we wouldn’t take as much time as we need to get these numbers,” Bottoms told reporters during an online discussion. A recent outbreak of the virus in Georgia forced the census bureau to temporarily suspend field work.

RELATED: Coronavirus Proves The 2020 Census Is More Important For Black People Than Ever

“This is a political play because it does speak to representation in Congress. And the higher the numbers are ― especially in urban communities ― the more representation that we have in Congress. And that is certainly not something the Trump administration I’m sure is supportive of.”

According to the AJC, advocacy groups are battling the federal government in court over the government’s plans to wind down in-person counting by September 30, a month ahead of schedule. A federal judge in California has issued a temporary restraining order, blocking the government’s move at least until a hearing in the case Thursday.

The National Urban League, League of Women Voters and other plaintiffs in the case argue rushing the process could result in “a massive undercount of the country’s communities of color and the municipalities, cities, counties, and states where they live.”

The U.S. Census Bureau does a census count (meant to include all citizens, residents and even undocumented residents) once every ten years. $1.5 trillion in federal funding and the makeup of congressional seats in the House of Representatives is at stake. 

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