No More Citizenship Question. It’s Time to Confidently Say Yalla Count Me In to the 2020 Census!

Posted by Suher Adi on July 25, 2019 in Blog

The highly anticipated decision by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on whether or not a question on citizenship can be added to the 2020 Census has been decided. In a complicated decision, the court ruling can be summarized in three parts. First, the court ruled the question is not in violation of the constitution and, moreover, is not seen as “arbitrary” for the Bureau to instate a question on citizenship on the census. Second, the court ruled the reasoning the Trump Administration gave for adding the citizenship question---that it was to aid implementation of the Voting Rights...

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Securing the Census Part 2

Posted by Guest on July 12, 2019 in Blog

In yesterday's blog post, we explained the Census Bureau’s legal reasons for protecting your data, how they’ve protected your data in the past, and why they are moving to a new method of data protection: differential privacy.

But how does differential privacy work? There’s a lot of detailed math behind it, which won’t be covered here. Instead, we’ll address the basic principles.

At its most basic, two databases are considered differentially private if they are identical except that one contains your data and the other does not, so that an outside observer cannot tell which database was...

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A Narrow Win Against Racial Gerrymandering: Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill

Posted by Guest on June 19, 2019 in Blog

AAI staff and Spring 2019 interns participated in a rally at the Supreme Court on the day of oral arguments in the case.

On June 17, 2019, the Supreme Court dismissed the case Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill, in which the Virginia House of Delegates tried to appeal a lower court decision which declared the 2011 Virginia House district maps were unconstitutional as a result of racial gerrymandering. 

This case dates back to 2014, when a group of Virginia voters alleged that the Republican-controlled Virginia...

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An Introduction to Disinformation, Interference, and the 2020 Census

Posted by Guest on June 17, 2019 in Blog

In 2020, for the first time ever, the US Census will allow for online responses. This will be accompanied by an increase in official Census Bureau advertisements, particularly online, including social media. However, Census officials are anticipating targeted campaigns on social media designed to spread disinformation about the decennial census, which will compete with official advertisements for space on timelines and in respondents’ memory.

Ever since the 2016 election, the question of how to deal with disinformation – that is, maliciously spread false information – on social media has made headlines, and social media companies ranging from Facebook...

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Disinformation

Posted by Guest on June 14, 2019 in Blog
Disinformation is defined as false information that is spread with the intent for it to deceive or harm, often occurring alongside misinformation, which is false information spread with good intentions.
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Data Collection Could Provide Oversight of Counterterrorism Activities

Posted by Tess Waggoner on June 06, 2019 in Blog
Transparent data collection would empower stakeholders and local communities to have a better sense of the threats posed by white supremacist violence and acts meeting federal definitions of domestic terrorism. It would also open up the possibility of greater accountability and oversight of U.S. counterterrorism efforts.
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Knowing the Full Set of Symptoms: Hate Crime Data Collection and Reporting

Posted by Guest on June 06, 2019 in Blog

“A doctor cannot diagnose a patient without knowing the full set of symptoms,” testified Susan Bro, whose daughter, Heather Heyer, was killed at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Bro delivered her testimony before the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties during the first in a three-part series of hearings entitled “Confronting White Supremacy.” Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) invoked Bro’s discerning words in questioning the Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, Calvin Shivers, during the second part of the series held this Tuesday, June 4.

Maloney pushed Shivers to explain how the...

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AAI Statement on Hofeller memo, decennial census

Posted on May 30, 2019 in Press Releases
This morning, news of the Hofeller memo brought to light what AAI and other civil rights groups feared from the moment Secretary Ross announced the addition of the citizenship question to the census: that it was politically motivated to suppress the count of various hard to count communities across the country.
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How two Supreme Court cases may undermine a cornerstone of American democracy

Posted by Ryan Suto on May 30, 2019 in Blog
The Supreme Court is about to decide on two issues central to American democracy: how we count people living in the United States and how we divide those people into districts for representation. Recently released documents reveal just how connected these cases are.
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