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June 30, 1989 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-06-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

OPINION

CONTENTS

Blacks, Jews, Homeless
Should Be Counted

SAMUEL RABINOVE

N

ew York — In
December 1979, the
Domestic Affairs
Commission of the American
Jewish Committee recom-
mended that a national
AJCommittee program be in-
stituted in support of a "full
count" for the 1980 census,
which was to begin in April
1980.
Noting that the census
could be an excellent "bridge
issue" for the formation of in-
tergroup coalitions, that corn-
mission recommended that
AJCommittee regional offices
undertake programs toward
that end.
The question is, why should
American Jews be concerned
about a "full count" in the
census? What difference
should it make to Jews?
First, there is the matter of
justice for all, and second,
there is Jewish political in-
terest. Jews are heavily con-

The census is
acknowledged to
be a fundamental
instrument for
allocating political
power in this
country.

centrated in the larger states
where census undercount has
been most prevalent.
What does the undercount
mean for such states? The
census is acknowledged to be
a fundamental instrument for
allocating political power in
this country. It determines
the apportionment of
representatives in Congress
and in state legislatures, the
allocation of Electoral College
votes in presidential elec-
tions, and the distribution
among states and localities of
billions of dollars of federal
funds for housing, education,
transportation, environmen-
tal protection and other
services.
lb the extent that the cen-
sus is inaccurate, the appor-
tionment of legislatures, the
allocation of Electoral College
votes and the distribution of
funds are correspondingly
distorted. To that extent our
democratic system is
undermined.

Samuel Rabinove is legal
director of the American
Jewish Committee.

In 1990, the Census Bureau
will conduct the 21st decen-
nial census. It is a certainty
that the census, as now
planned, will seriously under-
count blacks, Hispanics and
members of other disadvan-
taged groups.
It will thus also seriously
undercount the states and
localities in which a
disproportionate number of
these individuals live. The
unfairness of this eventuality
is manifest.
There is little question that
the Census Bureau is simply
unable to count everyone. Ac-
cording to the bureau itself,
in 1980, the overall popula-
tion was undercounted bet-
ween 1 percent and 2 percent.
For blacks, however, the
1980 undercount was
estimated at 5 percent to 6
percent, and for Hispanics on-
ly a bit lower than that. The
question is what, if anything,
ought to be done about it for
the next census.
A great deal of power and
money are at risk in this con-
troversy. According to some
experts, if blacks, Hispanics
and Asians were counted
with the same accuracy as
whites, California, for exam-
ple, could gain at least one
seat in the House in the
1990s.

The heart of the matter is
who gets counted and who
doesn't. Most people get cen-
sus questionnaires by mail.
Those who don't return them
are supposed to get a personal
visit from a census
enumerator. In practice,
however, many people fall
through the cracks, especial-
ly in urban areas, where low
income minorities may not be
on the post office lists that the
Census Bureau uses.
Rep. Charles Schumer (D-
N.Y.) says that adjusting the
census is the only way to get
the approximately 100,00
people estimated to be living
illegally in New York City
public housing onto the
population rolls. Moreover,
many census enumerators,
fearful of their safety, refuse
to enter buildings in poor
minority neighborhoods.
The logical corollary of sup-
port for a "full count" in the
census is support for correc-
ting the inevitable under-
count. There is simply no
other way to obtain the
desired "full count."
Conceding the inevitability
of the undercount, the Census
Bureau determined in 1987

Continued on Page 10

24

CLOSE-UP

Splitting The Pie

ALAN HITSKY
How the Allied Jewish Campaign
allocates local, overseas needs.

40

EDUCATION

Hi-Tech Teaching

HEIDI PRESS
Leah Kar has won an award
to spread her computer-ese.

24

45

FOCUS

Driven Leaf

ELIZABETH KAPLAN
Linking a tradition
through the point of a quill.

48

SPORTS

Vr000m!

40

MIKE ROSENBAUM
Dedicated helpers manned
the Detroit Grand Prix.

center

Detroit's sister city in Israel.
is our Family Section's subject.

57

ENTERTAINMENT

Logical Direction

Mr. Spock has taken his career
boldly into a strange new world.

4

72

LIFESTYLES

Volunteer

CARLA JEAN SCHWARTZ
Barbara Bockoff is a dedicated
worker . . . from her wheelchair.

DEPARTMENTS

28
37
38
44
68

75
80
82
84
86

Inside Washington
Community
Synagogues
Business
Fine arts

Engagements
Births
Teens
Single Life
Classified Ads

CANDLELIGHTING

57

8:56 p.m.
June 30, 1989
10:03 p.m.
Sabbath ends July 1

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

7

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