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In pressing for census count, note how high stakes are here in Mass.

In this file photo, Massachusetts Secretary of the State Bill Galvin designated that March 12 was the first day that residents could begin responding online to the 2020 Census.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

In your Nov. 17 editorial “The courts must protect the 2020 Census,” you did a superb job underscoring why the 2020 Census matters. Yet it’s critically important that we understand why the 2020 Census matters for Massachusetts, especially the state’s underrepresented communities.

In Boston alone, neighborhoods such as Dorchester, Chinatown, and East Boston almost certainly were undercounted in the census. For these neighborhoods, and so many similar ones across the state, this means less political representation. It means less federal funding to programs like the National School Lunch Program, Section 8 housing vouchers, and Medicare Part B. This means that communities that have fought to be heard — Black and brown communities, immigrant communities, and low-income communities — must continue their fight.


Fortunately, the fight is not yet over. Though the current administration is calling on the Supreme Court to leave undocumented immigrants uncounted in the census, advocacy organizations across the country are pushing back on this disastrous move. Immigrants, who reside in cities like Boston, Worcester, and Springfield deserve to have their voices heard and their communities counted.

The census, since its inception 230 years ago, has always counted every single resident, and that must not change now.

Cheryl Clyburn Crawford

Executive director



MassVOTE is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to voting rights and social justice.