Oppose Anti-Voting Rights Thomas Brunell to Lead the Census Bureau

Thomas Brunell, a Texas professor who has testified in the support of Republican-engineered gerrymandering schemes and written a book entitled “Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections are Bad for America” is poised to be appointed as deputy director of the U.S. Census Bureau. Because the 2020 Census count will determine the allocation of representatives and affect how political districts are drawn, Brunell's leadership of the Bureau could undermine democracy for decades. Historically, the Bureau has been staffed by career civil servants with expertise in statistics. However, Brunell's nomination suggests Trump plans to politicize the Bureau to suppress an accurate count of Americans in 2020.

Early in Trump's presidency, a draft executive order was leaked that directed the agency to ask questions about citizenship status; this move is predicted to suppress responses from undocumented people and has raised alarm about how the government would use this information. Additionally, the Census Bureau lost its former director under murky circumstances in the summer of 2017 and currently faces a longstanding budget shortfall that will not be addressed in the 2018 budget. The Bureau also recently decided to reverse its decision to count LGBTQ Americans in 2020. Amid this turmoil, Brunell was nominated to lead the Census Bureau. When his nomination met considerable resistance, his nomination was rescinded. However, he is now about to be appointed as Deputy Director, a position that does not require Senate confirmation.

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Dianne Feinstein D-CA

202-224-3841

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Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from San Francisco.

I'm calling to express my opposition to Thomas Brunell as Deputy Director of the Census Bureau. He has proven he is hostile to objective and fair redistricting efforts, and we need an experienced statistician and career civil servant to keep the 2020 Census on track.

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