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Thread: The end of the American Community Survey?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    The end of the American Community Survey?

    Yesterday the House voted to eliminate the ACS. http://blogs.planning.org/policy/201...or-the-census/ For those unfamilar with the ACS, the ACS is the tool that provides the Census and policy makers updated population estimates on a yearly basis, as well as other important imformation.

    This is incredibly short sighted and smells to me of election year b.s. ACS data is important for updated population projections which is vital in the fast growing area I work in. Without this data, I will have to use often flawed population data, (i.e. linear growth). The ACS data helps planner notice changes often 5 or more years before the Census would reflect hose changes. My hope is that the Senate will reject this garbage.

    Really House, this is the important issues you should be tackling right now?! Is the population marching on DC now shouting down with the ACS?! FFS, Congress how about you work on something more worthwhile!!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    It'll be back. The requirement for Census data is set forth in the Constitution, and no matter how they try to spin it, this program is a Census component and therefore untouchable. Just take it for what it is - political posturing by corrupt hacks.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    This is probably because the tea partiers believe the ACS to be a secret propaganda tool the UN is using to implement one-world government, or some other nefarious plot conjured up in their tinfoil-hat wearing insanity

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    Yesterday the House voted to eliminate the ACS.
    To be clear, since the long form has already been eliminated, eliminating the ACS effectively means no more detailed data in many categories. Need a housing estimate? Build your own model.

    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    This is probably because the tea partiers believe the ACS to be a secret propaganda tool the UN is using to implement one-world government, or some other nefarious plot conjured up in their tinfoil-hat wearing insanity
    They probably think that this data's going to be used to increase taxes. Plus, apparently God doesn't like censuses. 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21. King David proposed to take one and God smote his kingdom over it.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    This is probably because the tea partiers believe the ACS to be a secret propaganda tool the UN is using to implement one-world government, or some other nefarious plot conjured up in their tinfoil-hat wearing insanity
    Word. And they will use it to take your guns, too.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cismontane View post
    They probably think that this data's going to be used to increase taxes. Plus, apparently God doesn't like censuses. 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21. King David proposed to take one and God smote his kingdom over it.
    Not only that... Jesus was born in a manger because of one! Just imagine how mortified Mary was when the wise men came and gave her expensive gifts because they thought she was destitute!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    I suspect the Senate won't go along. But I also don't think the requirement for a census requires the ACS or long form or anything other than the current short form census. Its really for apportionment, which only means to count the heads and maybe their race for civil rights reasons

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus
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    E-mail I received about this -

    Earlier this week the House of Representatives passed a bill that contains the Census Bureau’s budget. We are receiving many questions from the press and stakeholders all across the country. In an effort to be responsive to these questions, we’re providing a blog by Census Director Robert Groves, and two news articles (from Business Week and the Washington Times) which provide balanced coverage of the congressional action.

    Businessweek - http://www.businessweek.com/articles...linds-business

    Washington Times - http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...ureau-justice/

    See Director's blog and videos here: http://directorsblog.blogs.census.go...r-the-country/
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Was talking to my dad about this last night on the phone. He claims that the ACS isn't a good thing since the government can manipulate the data for its own ends You can't convince some people that government isn't out to screw them in some way.

    When reading on up on this, I really liked the argument that the government has no business knowing how many bathrooms a person has in their home... They'd freak if they saw amount of information the average assessor has.

    I honestly expect nothing will happen as a result of this vote. Republicans have already reneged on budget numbers mandated by the debt ceiling agreement and I'm sure this cut wouldn't be necessary if they kept with that agreement. I doubt they'll succeed on pushing this stuff through unless they want to start another government shutdown.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    The equivalent census (long-form census) was eliminated in Canada last year, with similar debate and comments. To put my conspiracy cap on (solid tinfoil) I suspect that the minds behind the move are NOT concerned about invasion of privacy or the cost. I suspect they are concern that the information the survey provides is counter to their own political agenda. You can’t keep building more prisons if the crime rate is shown to be going down. You can’t keep build more highways if people say they want transit. You can’t hire thousands more border security guards if illegal immigration is actually on the decline. It seems the truth is getting too hard for them to manipulate so they have to start supressing it.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Another e-mail about it and asking for member action:

    Last week the U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment to eliminate the American Community Survey (ACS). The vote came during consideration of the FY 2013 funding bill for the Department of Commerce. This action strikes at the heart of the quality of federal data for local planning. ACS was created as the replacement for census “long form” data. Thus, ACS is the only source for a variety of critical housing, demographic, economic and social data.

    The Senate is expected to take up its version of the Commerce Department funding bill as early as next week. A broad coalition of organizations, ranging from major business groups to civil rights organizations, are working to ensure the Senate understands the vital importance of ACS and the role of small area data in making good policy and economic decisions. ACS is also the base for a variety of formula allocations for federal and state programs. Suffice to say, ACS is an important source of information that can’t be found elsewhere.

    APA is a charter member of the Census Project. This is the coalition organizing a national letter to the Senate regarding ACS. APA has signed the letter. State and local organizations are being encouraged to also join the letter. Accordingly, I am encouraging APA’s chapters to formally endorse the letter.

    A copy of the letter is attached to this email. To join the letter, simply send an email to Brendan Nichols at the Census Project bnichols@ccmc.org along with your chapter name indicating your support. Likewise, local governments are also being encouraged to endorse the letter so feel free to spread the word. However, time is short. The initial letter signing deadline is close of business TOMORROW. I apologize for the short notice, but the letter needs to be sent immediately to Senate offices. If you choose to join the letter, please also send me an email to let me know.

    ACS is in serious jeopardy. In addition to voting to eliminate the ACS, the House also approved a separate amendment making ACS responses voluntary. This would make the ACS both more expensive and less reliable. It’s unlikely the Senate would adopt such far-reaching provisions but now is the time to send a strong message to Senate leaders to stand firm in any negotiations on a final package with the House.

    At the recent APA National Planning Conference in Los Angeles, the APA Board of Directors formally adopted new legislative priorities. Among our top priorities for federal policy advocacy is ensuring high quality federal data for local and regional planning and decision making. This issue is important and I hope you will take action:

    · Have your chapter join the national letter

    · Encourage your members to visit the APA online legislative action center to email their Senators on this issue (www.planning.org/policy and click on action center)

    · Spread the word about this issue. The APA policy blog has an article detailing the recent developments. (http://blogs.planning.org/policy)

    · Ask your state partner organizations and local governments to get engaged on this issue.

    If you need more information or details, please feel free to contact me.

    Jason Jordan | Director, Policy & Government Affairs
    American Planning Association
    1030 15th Street, NW, Suite 750 West | Washington, DC 20005
    202.349.1005 (o) | 202.607.3762 (c) | jjordan@planning.org | www.planning.org
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Howl View post
    The equivalent census (long-form census) was eliminated in Canada last year, with similar debate and comments. To put my conspiracy cap on (solid tinfoil) I suspect that the minds behind the move are NOT concerned about invasion of privacy or the cost. I suspect they are concern that the information the survey provides is counter to their own political agenda. You can’t keep building more prisons if the crime rate is shown to be going down. You can’t keep build more highways if people say they want transit. You can’t hire thousands more border security guards if illegal immigration is actually on the decline. It seems the truth is getting too hard for them to manipulate so they have to start supressing it.
    I just think there are some interests that no longer want to compete with the government when it comes to providing data. Politicians and marketing people already have superior data sources available to them so they probably see the census as only being used for redistricting.

    It's not like there's no precedent of something like this being attempted before. Rick Santorum once tried to get rid of the National Weather Service so AccuWeather (which was in his district) could take over.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Aricle from NY Times:

    The Beginning of the End of the Census ?

    It is, more or less, the country’s primary check for determining how well the government is doing — and in fact what the government will be doing.

    “That means businesses will make bad decisions, and government will make bad decisions, which means we won’t even know where we actually are wasting our tax dollars.”
    Everything you already knew just needing to keep the issue alive.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus
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    USA Today print editorial:

    Don't close the shutter on America's annual snapshot

    Any smartphone with a tracking device is far more intrusive than the American Community Survey.
    Both articles end up - it is about the budget for it.

    Timing is becuse the pending ? Senate vote.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    USA Today print editorial:

    Don't close the shutter on America's annual snapshot



    Both articles end up - it is about the budget for it.

    Timing is becuse the pending ? Senate vote.
    Did you see the poll question on the left-hand side? As of this morning, only 216 people have voted, but the % of those who "strongly agree" is not much more than those who "strongly disagree." *sigh*

    ...not that members of Congress are going to vote based on a USA Today poll.

  16. #16
    ...
    Last edited by OfficialPlanner; 17 Jul 2012 at 6:49 PM.

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