United States Conference of Mayors

Over 160 Mayors to Secretary of Commerce Ross: Don’t Undercut Cities – Work with Us to Ensure U.S. Cities Are Treated Fairly in the 2020 Census

Bipartisan Mayors Nationwide Call for Washington to Put Cities First in the Next Census and Reject Untested Questions that Threaten to Undermine Census Preparations

WASHINGTON, DC— In coordination with the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), USCM Census Task Force Chair Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and the offices of Mayor Eric Garcetti (LA), Mayor Bill de Blasio (NYC) Mayor Sylvester Turner (Houston), and Mayor John Giles (Mesa), 161 Republican and Democratic mayors today issued a stern letter urging Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to consider three specific areas of concern to meet the shared goal of a full, fair and accurate 2020 Census as planning swings into action: adequate funding; qualified Census Bureau leadership; and a full rejection of untested questions that threaten to undermine census preparations and accuracy.

Mayors of both parties have long contested that previous censuses have undercounted cities – leaving federal investments well below where they should be, given that cities are 90 percent of the country’s GDP, and hold 85 percent of the population and 86 percent of the nation’s jobs.

A successful decennial census is essential to the governing of municipalities across the nation. “Census results determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives, are used to draw political districts at federal, state and local levels, and affect the distribution of billions of dollars of federal funding annually to local communities for infrastructure and vital services like hospitals and schools. An inaccurate census leads to underrepresentation and fewer dollars for many of our most vulnerable communities,” the bipartisan letter from USCM reads.

“The 2020 Census presents a great opportunity for cities to be counted fairly and accurately. Census data is critical to the allocation of government funding for education, housing, transportation, and other programs in cities and communities nationwide. We encourage the Administration to take this process seriously to ensure fairness for everyone,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, USCM President.

“As we prepare for the 2020 Census, we need to ensure that all the residents of our communities are accurately counted. This process is vital to securing sufficient Federal dollars to fund our schools, our roads, our broader infrastructure needs and quality housing. We cannot afford to shortchange our future and it all begins with making sure each and every person is counted,” said Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh, Chair of USCM’s Census Task Force.

“Everybody counts,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chair USCM’s Latino Alliance. “An unnecessary and mean-spirited census question about citizenship would undermine the fair and accurate count that the Constitution demands, and deny too many cities the resources and representation they deserve.”

“President Trump’s attempt to politicize the census is unprecedented. A fair and accurate census is constitutionally mandated and absolutely critical to ensuring people get the resources they need, which is why I’m teaming up with bipartisan mayors across the country to insist that Secretary Ross recognize the importance of the task at hand and protect the count from partisanship and ideology,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Chair of USCM’s Cities of Opportunity Task Force.

“An accurate 2020 Census count is the right thing to do and is essential to my community’s financial health. Arizona cities receive much-needed public safety funding based upon our census population.  This is not the time for partisan gamesmanship. My message to Washington is clear: follow the Constitution and count everyone,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles, USCM Trustee.

“Everyone counts, and everyone should be counted by the census. Without a full count, our governments on every level will lose an opportunity to have a true and accurate picture of our City and our City’s needs,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Chair of USCM’s Metro Economies Standing Committee.

Full text of the letter is available here and the full list of 161 signatories is below:

New Orleans Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh

Mesa Mayor John Giles

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan K. Barnett

Somerset Mayor Jeffrey Z. Slavin

Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan

East Hartford Mayor Marcia A. Leclerc

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley

West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon

Madison Mayor Paul R. Soglin

Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Anne Rogero

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg

Torrance Mayor Patrick J. Furey

Abington Mayor Wayne C. Luker

Austin Mayor Steve Adler

Tukwila Mayor Allan Ekberg

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell

Kinston Mayor Dontario ‘Don’ Hardy

Lima Mayor David J. Berger

Henderson Mayor Debra March

Union City Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster

Rocklin Mayor Ken Broadway

Schenectady Mayor Gary R. McCarthy

Fremont Mayor Lily Mei

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin

Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo

Boulder Mayor Suzanne  ‘Zan’ Jones

Newark Mayor Alan L. Nagy

Corvallis Mayor Biff Traber

Culver City Mayor Jeffrey Cooper

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan

Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker

Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther

Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel A. Pulido

Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler

Sumter Mayor Joseph T. McElveen Jr.

Watsonville Mayor Lowell Hurst

Tempe Mayor Mark W. Mitchell

Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings

Gary Mayor Karen M. Freeman-Wilson

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock

Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth B. Kautz

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve

Weston Mayor Daniel J. Stermer

Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle

Napa Mayor Jill Techel

Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea

Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse

Asheville Mayor Esther E. Manheimer

Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank C. Ortis

Charleston Mayor John J. Tecklenburg

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman

Muskegon Mayor Steve Gawron

Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto

Piscataway Mayor Brian C. Wahler

Minnetonka Mayor Brad Wiersum

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton

Cupertino Mayor Darcy Paul

Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan

Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams

Frankfort Mayor William May

Evanston Mayor Stephen H. Hagerty

Sheboygan Mayor Michael Vandersteen

West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor

Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson

Elizabeth Mayor J Christian Bollwage

San Leandro Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter

Pullman Mayor Glenn A. Johnson

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rodkin Rotering

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski

West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman

Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer

Camuy Mayor Edwin García Feliciano

Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price DDS

Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh

Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown

Central Falls Mayor James A. Diossa

Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas

College Park Mayor Patrick L. Wojahn

Dolton Mayor Riley H. Rogers

Findlay Mayor Lydia L. Mihalik

Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord

Holyoke Mayor Alex B. Morse III

Jackson Mayor Pete Muldoon

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba Esq.

Jamestown Mayor Samuel Teresi

Kansas City Mayor Sylvester ‘Sly’ James Jr.

Las Cruces Mayor Kenneth D. Miyagishima

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia

Medford Mayor Stephanie Muccini Burke

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey

New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson

Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka

Normal Mayor Chris Koos

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert

Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza

Richmond Mayor Thomas K. Butt

Santa Clara Mayor Lisa M. Gillmor

Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales

Skokie Mayor George C. Van Dusen

Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone

State College Mayor Don M. Hahn

Stockton Mayor Michael D. Tubbs

Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano

Paterson Mayor Jane E. Williams-Warren

Fort Wayne Mayor Thomas ‘Tom’ C. Henry

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler

Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol

Livermore Mayor John P. Marchand

Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome

Brighton Mayor William W. Moehle

Saratoga Mayor Mary-Lynne Bernald

Charlotte Mayor Vi Alexander Lyles

Lakewood Mayor Adam A. Paul

Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik

White Plains Mayor Thomas M. Roach

College Station Mayor Karl Mooney

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

Lakewood Mayor Diane DuBois

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg

Santa Cruz Mayor David Terrazas

Foster City Mayor Sam Hindi

Stamford Mayor David Martin

Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart

Arvin Mayor Jose Gurrola

Dillon Mayor Kevin Burns

Pleasant Ridge Mayor Kurt R Metzger

West Wendover Mayor Daniel J Corona

Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop

Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski