Shapiro, Kenney oppose citizenship question on census

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro and the city of Philadelphia want to block a question about citizenship information in the 2020 decennial census.

Shapiro

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro and the city of Philadelphia have filed a lawsuit to block the Trump administration from asking about citizenship information in the 2020 decennial census.

Shapiro, a Democrat, worries that including the citizenship question would depress participation in states with large immigrant populations, directly threatening those states’ representation in Congress and the Electoral College as well as billions of dollars in federal funding for education, infrastructure, Medicaid and more.

“At first glance, this move by the Trump administration might seem innocuous, but evidence has shown the addition of a citizenship question will depress turnout — resulting in an inaccurate census count that would hurt Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said. “The United States Constitution requires a full count of all residents, whether they are citizens or not. It’s vital that the 2020 census be conducted fairly, accurately and in accordance with the law so Pennsylvania receives the representation and federal resources we deserve.”

Pennsylvania is home to 870,000 non-citizens (3.3 percent of total population).

Shapiro wants non-citizens counted in the census for the purposes of distributing federal funds, apportioning congressional seats and Electoral College votes and drawing state and local legislative districts. The census is also used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives, with each plaintiff state relying on population information from the Census Bureau to draw statewide redistricting plans for their congressional and state legislative districts.

“All people residing in Pennsylvania, including students, those with work visas and people with green cards, must be included in our population count in order to ensure Pennsylvania gets our fair share of federal resources,” Shapiro said.

Mayor Jim Kenney believes there could be an undercount because of concerns about how the federal government will use citizenship information and what he believes is Trump’s “anti-immigrant rhetoric and pattern of actions that target immigrant communities.”

“No resident should be afraid to participate in a census count because they fear deportation. This would result in a count that is not truly representative of our population,” Kenney said. “I am very concerned about how the consequences of this would affect the federal funding we receive, as well as the fair representation of our residents at different levels of government.”

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The Green Party of Pennsylvania endorsed author and social activist Paul Glover for governor.

Central to Glover’s campaign will be support for a statewide Medicare for all bill.

Glover will advocate for reform of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, which he says “hobbles our middle class by protecting a profitable health insurance industry.” His book, A Crime Not a Crisis, focuses on “decades of a revolving door between regulators, legislators and insurers that makes health care costly.” He is also calling for a ban on fracking.

Glover favors tighter gun background checks, raising the age for gun purchases, prohibiting silencers and setting ammunition limits.

“As governor, I will also support progressive taxation, alternatives to incarceration, funding equity for public education, regional organic agriculture, expanded rail systems, decriminalization of marijuana, bolder union organizing and a state bank whose deposits serve Pennsylvania,” Glover said.

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The Philly Neighborhood Small Business Council and City Councilman David Oh will sponsor a congressional candidates forum on Monday, April 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Loews Hotel, 12th and Market streets, fourth floor.

Taking part will be candidates from the 2nd, 3rd and 5th congressional districts, which include parts of Philadelphia.

The Northeast is located in the 2nd Congressional District. Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle faces a primary challenge from Michele Lawrence, a former Wells Fargo area president. The Republican candidate is anti-drug activist David Torres. ••