Obama Tweets Inspirational Leadership Message As Trump Rages Online

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Former President Barack Obama called on Americans to complete the Census on Monday. Census results, as he noted, weigh on important processes, from the redistricting process that allocates legislative representation to decisions about where to invest government money. The results characterize the status of the U.S. population across the country — but if some marginalized communities miss out on getting adequately counted, then they could lose some of that legislative representation, they could lose some government investment, and more.

Obama shared on Twitter:

Don’t wait—complete the Census today. From funding for education, health care, and infrastructure in your community to the way you’re represented in government, getting counted matters. Take a minute to call 844-330-2020 or visit my2020census.gov.’

With Trump in charge, the Census has been a point of contention. Before it got underway, the Trump administration tried to add a question about citizenship to the questionnaire. This question could have had the net result of intimidating immigrant communities from participating in the Census, although the effort is supposed to count all persons in the country, not just citizens. If immigrants were to participate in the Census at a lower rate than they would otherwise without the citizenship question in place, then their communities could miss out on crucial support. Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the inclusion of the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

More recently, the Trump administration has been trying to end the Census early. Recently, federal Judge Lucy Koh struck down the Trump administration’s planned end date of September 30, which — according to standing precedent — left a previously set October 31 conclusion in place. After Koh’s initial order, the Trump administration said that they would be ending the count on October 5 instead, but the judge again intervened, ruling that the administration was in violation of her court order and must continue through the end of the month. As mentioned, failing to adequately count parts of the population could deny them access to critical benefits and support.

After the census, the redistricting process will get underway, when legislative district lines around the country are redrawn to redistribute representation as appropriate. That process can be co-opted for political ends in a development called gerrymandering, when lines are manipulated to give the leading party majorities of their own supporters in as many districts as possible. Obama’s former Attorney General Eric Holder helps lead an organization called All On The Line that fights against gerrymandering.

Check out Twitter’s response to Obama below:

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