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New York Counts 2020 Responds to Federal Judge's Hearing on Census Citizenship Question

On Tuesday July 3rd, 2018, members of New York Counts 2020 gathered at the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse in Lower Manhattan to observe Federal Judge Jesse M. Furman’s hearing on whether to dismiss the lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General’s Office challenging the citizenship question on the 2020 Census. The Judge deferred a ruling on the motion to dismiss, but stated it was “unlikely” he would dismiss the case in its entirety.  He ruled in favor of the Attorney General’ requests for more discovery beyond the administrative record, in part because they were able to demonstrate “bad faith” of the Trump administration in deviating from typical procedure. The judge noted that the Commerce Secretary’s decision to add the citizenship question preceded its later rationale for doing so.

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Immediately following the hearing, New York Counts 2020 organized a press conference at Foley Square, across the steps of the courthouse.  Supporters rallied to chants led by Adelaide Zou, New York Counts 2020 intern, “One we are New Yorkers, Two a little bit louder, Three we’re out here fighting, For a fair count!”

Elizabeth R. OuYang, coordinator of New York Counts 2020 began the press conference:

”We are grateful that Judge Furman is keeping this case alive. This case must go to trial. The public must see the elephant in the courtroom - the intention to Make America White Again. We know the hard fought and ongoing struggle for diversity and inclusion in this country and we will not go back.“

Various community organizations made their opposition to the citizen question heard. Groups who spoke include NAACP  Chinese-American Planning Council, NALEO Educational Fund, Desis Rising Up and Moving, Masa, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, as well as Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Service.

In addition to these varied stakeholders, political leaders such as Congresswoman Grace Meng, Assemblymember Marcos A. Crespo, as well as Senior Advisor Nisha Agarwal from Deputy Mayor J. Phillip Thompson’s office spoke out in support of New York Counts 2020’s efforts to defend the integrity of the Census in reaching a fair and accurate enumeration.  

Members of the press in attendance include NPR, Huffington Post, Fox News, Mother Jones, Sing Tao, Univision, Televiso, N2N24, among many others.

Elizabeth Plum