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January 2019 Monthly Status Report

Component ID: #ti1398787528

General Update

The U.S. Senate on January 2 unanimously confirmed Dr. Steven Dillingham to be the next Director of the U.S. Census Bureau. He was then sworn in on January 7, and he is now in the office. Dr. Dillingham has more than 25 years of statistical, research, senior management, and legal experience in the federal government. He previously served as the Director of the Office of Strategic Information, Research, and Planning for the Peace Corps and as Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

On January 15, a U.S. District Court judge in New York ruled against the decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census questionnaire. The case is under appeal. The Supreme Court has agreed to review the case, and a hearing is expected in April. In the meantime, the Census Bureau will continue with its plans to conduct the 2019 Census Test, which is designed to measure the operational effect of including a citizenship question on self-response rates.

The 2020 Census program (including Census Enterprise Data Collection and Processing [CEDCaP] work) used carryover funding to continue operations at full capacity during the lapse in appropriations from December 22 through January 25. The FY 2018 appropriation provided funds available for use in FY 2019. This funding, carried into FY 2019, allowed the 2020 Census Programs (including the Census Enterprise data Collection and Processing [CEDCaP]) to continue operations during the lapse in appropriations.

The Census Bureau continues to closely monitor the space acquisition process for the Wave 2 Area Census Offices (ACOs). Wave 2 offices are scheduled for occupancy five to eight months from now (as early as June) but some of these locations are experiencing delays. The Census Bureau’s Field Division is planning to implement contingencies in the event these delays continue, which include launching early ACO activities from alternate ACO locations, using existing space in regional offices and regional census centers, and housing early ACO activities in hotel meeting rooms.

The Census Bureau published the results from the 2020 Census Barriers, Attitudes, and Motivators Study (CBAMS) on January 22. The CBAMS was designed to provide the foundation of the data-driven 2020 Census Integrated Partnership and Communications operation, whose primary goal is to develop a research-based communications plan with the objective of motivating self-response to the 2020 Census. The CBAMS included both a quantitative component (a survey from a nationally representative sample of 50,000 households) and a qualitative component (of 42 focus groups across 14 cities). The results were published as two reports, one for each component.

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