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American Association for Public Opinion Research

AAPOR Statement on Thompson Resignation

May 10, 2017

On behalf of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), we are disappointed with the news of Mr. John Thompson’s sudden resignation as Director of the Bureau of the Census on May 9, 2017. Mr. Thompson’s knowledge and experience leading Census 2000 and his knowledge of modern survey techniques at the National Opinion Research Center made him uniquely qualified to lead the Bureau and to lay the necessary groundwork for the 2020 decennial census. We urge the President to appoint a replacement of equal caliber.

We are also greatly concerned that congressional and White House budget allocations for 2020 Census preparations are inadequate for the task at hand. While important that President Trump quickly appoints a new Census Bureau Director, it is equally critical that the new Director is given the resources necessary to deliver a methodologically rigorous and highly credible 2020 Census. Our entire nation is counting on it.

The U.S. Federal Government uses the decennial census to allocate close to $400 billion annually for planning and implementation of federal programs and services. State and local leaders use data from the decennial census to determine where to build new roads, schools, hospitals and firehouses. The decennial census is also instrumental in the allocation and redistricting of congressional districts.

AAPOR is the leading professional organization of public opinion and survey research professionals in the U.S., with nearly 2,200 members from government agencies, colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, media corporations, and commercial polling firms.