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Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Obama Administration and Census 2010: A commitment to reverse the act of "Digital Injustice" by undercounting citizens.

Now that the Obama Administration has decided to move this department to a Cabinet Level position, extra attention will be paid to processes that determine the “final” number count.

Since the 1960's the census has undercounted cities and counties by %3 to %14 percent. A traditional method used against a city is the definition of a home or a structure. You may know that there are some boarders who are occupying a home in the neighborhood. The census has a map of your neighborhood and knows that something is there. Your neighbors all agree that someone is living there and have proof by looking at them everyday going in and out of the home.

When the Census Takers come through the neighborhood, they count that home and the people in there. As the numbers are passed up through the chain of processing, someone decides that the home is not a structure and those numbers are removed from the final count. The City loses out on the count because some Washington appointed bureaucrat decided that it should happen like that.

With the Obama Administration elevating the Census to a Cabinet level position, more attention will be paid to the processing of information. Even more intriguing, the administration will have final say over the analysis of the information. This effort will require that citizens that have technology skills are essential to the achievement of fair counting of Cities in our Country.

Just imagine people like Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi as the Chief Information Officer for the Census with a staff full of database administrators and computer programmer/analysts who think like him. This man believes that segregation in the 1960’s would have been better for America. Dr. Martin Luther King would have been in a Guantanamo Style prison and Nelson Mandela would still be in Jail. The applications that the staff would design would count citizens as darkies with other ethnic categories to dilute the true count of people. They would add other ethnic categories and, add so many variables that by the time the data was official, you would have an undercount/over count situation.

The following table shows what Detroit’s 2000 Census Population would have looked like based on the adjustment correction of 3 to 14 percent. (Note at a %6 adjustment, Detroit’s reported population of 951,270 would have been 1,008,346)

Table 1 Detroit 2000 Census Figures Adjusted %3 to %14.

Pct. Population
0% 951,270
3% 979,808
4% 989,321
5% 998,834
6% 1,008,346
7% 1,017,859
8% 1,027,372
9% 1,036,884
10% 1,046,397
11% 1,055,910
12% 1,065,422
13% 1,074,935
14% 1,084,448

(Source 2000 Census – click here to go to US Census Bureau data for Detroit)

Resources would be re-directed to populations that would be inflated for the purpose of weakening the voting voice and the financial resources of a group of people. Gerrymandering is the establishment of state and federal congressional boundaries to give one party a voting advantage over another. For example the Michigan’s US 8th congressional district includes the area of Lansing, Clinton County, Livingston County and, parts of Shiawassee and northern Oakland County. (Click here to view map of Michigan's 8th congressional district). You end up with congress people who consistently vote against President Obama and do not have to worry about losing an election. The resulting damage appears in the area of race, finance and economics. The continuation of this process will contribute to a 21st century style depression that will cause massive damage to the national security of America.

We at the Friends of Cushingberry are calling for total transparency of the Census process. This will include the fair processing of data using accountable and certified methods and procedures. The advance of technology and the improved processes from the 1900s makes the actual process of counting citizens obsolete. However, the process has a purpose because it can be used as a benchmark to determine the accuracy of collected data from 3rd party sources like moving companies, utility companies, and private businesses.

Herman Hollerith was a former Census Bureau employee who quit government work and founded IBM. Every punch card and mainframe was the result of a birth of an idea to improve a process. With President Obama elevating the Census to a Cabinet level Agency, technology and accountability will take on an increased importance to citizens of Michigan. Our final word for today is that the Census is hiring! (Click here to apply) The President and Rep. Cushingberry are urging all city and county residents to apply for jobs with the US Census Bureau today. Your community’s future depends on it.

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