Skip to main content

2023 Legislative Session Wrap Up: Update on MCF’s Census & Democracy Priorities

Minnesota Capitol building with blue sky

This session, MCF and our census and democracy partners focused on investments and policies that support Minnesota’s future census count and a more inclusive democracy. As leading conveners of the Minnesota Census Mobilization Partnership, MCF was well positioned to advocate for changes and investments to build on lessons learned and opportunities that came out of the 2020 Census effort. In collaboration with others, MCF played a leadership role in advocating for and achieving the following legislative accomplishments this session:

  • Increasing access to multiunit housing for Census enumerators to ensure a full Census count. Permitting census workers better access to multiunit facilities such as apartments allows enumerators to reach one of the most historically undercounted populations in the census: renters. Data from the 2020 census revealed that renters were significantly undercounted at -1.48% compared to an overcount of homeowners at 0.43%. Renters make up 28% of all households in Minnesota, thus it is critical to allow better enumerator access to ensure we are reaching a significant portion of our population.
  • Excluding income earned as decennial Census workers from state calculations for certain benefits. This will make it easier for Minnesota to hire Census enumerators for the 2030 Census, particularly from certain historically undercounted communities. For the 2020 Census, hiring enough Census enumerators was a significant challenge.
  • Funding for additional staffing at the State Demographer’s Office to meet current and growing demand for their services. The legislature provided funding for two additional staff to help community members access and interpret social, economic, and demographic data through trainings and resources. As nonprofits and community members engaged heavily in the 2020 Census and deepened their understanding of the value of this data for community decision making and funding, community interest and demand for data training and information has increased. These positions will help the Demographer’s Office meet community demand and prepare the state for the 2030 Census.

In addition to our advocacy on the above Census priorities, MCF also supported the following efforts to ensure a more inclusive democracy:

  • Restore the Vote & an accompanying education campaign. Minnesota restored the right to vote for residents that were convicted of felonies and are no longer incarcerated. This is estimated to be approximately 55,000 eligible voters. MCF supported funding for the Secretary of State’s office to educate these eligible voters about their restored voting rights.
  • Democracy for the People Act. This bill includes many changes to create a more inclusive democracy, including automatic voter registration, pre-registration for 16- and 17-year old’s, the creation of a permanent absentee voter list, ballot language access, and more.

This legislative session has been historic, particularly when it comes to strengthening democracy. MCF helped lift up and advocate for Census priorities that may have otherwise been overlooked during this busy legislative session. As the dust settles on this session, there is certainly more work to do to raise awareness about these changes and work toward their successful implementation.

For more information, please contact May Yang at 

A group of people positioned in front of an American flag
A group of people
Share This