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Not All Mayors In Region Support Census Lawsuit

U.S. Conference of Mayors

A new question on the 2020 census about citizenship is heading to court.  The U.S. Conference of Mayors is filing a suit contesting its inclusion. But not everyone in the region is on board.  

Marian Orr is Cheyenne's mayor and a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

"I think that it's a fair question to ask," said Orr, "I believe it belongs on the 2020 decennial census."

She said she was surprised the bipartisan association took a stance on what she sees as a partisan issue.

Respondents must say whether or not they are a U.S. citizen. Mayor Orr said the intent behind the question is to get a better count of voting-age citizens.

Over 150 mayors disagree, including those in Denver and Salt Lake City, calling the move unconstitutional. They also said in a letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, it will lead to inaccurate data, and quote, "fewer dollars for many of our most vulnerable communities." The lawsuit also involves 17 states and 7 cities.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Maggie Mullen is Wyoming Public Radio's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau. Her work has aired on NPR, Marketplace, Science Friday, and Here and Now. She was awarded a 2019 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for her story on the Black 14.
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