Articles

15Feb

Census 2010 Gets $1 Billion More, Aided by MRA Grassroots Lobbying

(Glastonbury, Conn.) Today, the Marketing Research Association (MRA) applauded the U.S. Congress for including $1 billion in immediate funding for the decennial Census in the just-approved economic stimulus law. MRA had advocated for the inclusion of this funding in the bill throughout the process and successfully helped fend off attempts in the Senate to eliminate the funds. In addition to contacts with supporters and opponents in the House and Senate, MRA rallied grassroots members, as well as subscribers to the AAPORnet listserv, to contact their Senators in support of the Census. An amendment to cut the Census funds was subsequently defeated during Senate floor debate.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1) passed Congress on February 13 and awaits the President’s signature into law (expected on Tuesday). The $1 billion included for the 2010 Census will help the Census Bureau: hire more census takers for door-to-door Non-Response Follow-Up visits; open more Local Census Offices in hard-to-count areas; expand paid advertising; and hire additional Partnership Specialists.

Data produced by the Census underpins nearly all aspects of survey and opinion research. It forms the baseline sample units for virtually every survey performed in the United States; the innovative research methods that a well-funded Census can develop benefit researchers of almost every kind; and a properly financed Census can promote proper data use, minimize respondent burden, respect individual privacy and ensure confidentiality.

About the Author

Howard Fienberg

Howard Fienberg

Based in Washington, DC, Howard is the Insights Association's lobbyist for the marketing research and data analytics industry, focusing primarily on consumer privacy and data security, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), tort reform, and the funding and integrity of the decennial Census and the American Community Survey (ACS). Howard has more than two decades of public policy experience. Before the Insights Association, he worked in Congress as senior legislative staffer for then-Representatives Christopher Cox (CA-48) and Cliff Stearns (FL-06). He also served more than four years with a science policy think tank, working to improve the understanding of scientific and social research and methodology among journalists and policymakers. Howard is also co-director of The Census Project, a 900+ member coalition in support of a fair and accurate Census and ACS. He has also served previously on the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics and and the Association of Government Relations Professionals. Howard has an MA International Relations from the University of Essex in England and a BA Honors Political Studies from Trent University in Canada, and has obtained the Certified Association Executive (CAE), Professional Lobbying Certificate (PLC) and the Public Policy Certificate (PPC). When not running advocacy for the Insights Association, Howard enjoys hockey, NFL football, sci-fi and horror movies, playing with his dog, and spending time with family and friends.

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