Listen to Belcalis!

By Eliza Thompson
March 26, 2020

Fresh off the success of her unexpected hit "Coronavirus," Cardi B is once again using her powers for good, this time to inform her followers about the importance of the U.S. census. "New York City: 2020's a huge opportunity to make our voice heard," the rapper says in the new ad. "This year, we have the power to decide our city's future, not just for the next four years, but for the next ten — by getting counted in the census. The census is about power, money, and respect for our communities."

Cardi goes on to explain that not participating means undercounting, which in turn can mean that communities don't get the resources they need. "In 2010, only 62 percent of New Yorkers responded to the census, with the lowest response rates in our black and brown communities," she says. "We can't let this happen again. If you want to stand up to the status quo and defy people in power who want to silence us, start by getting counted in the census."

She also reassures followers that there is not a citizenship question on the census, despite the Trump administration's initial efforts to add one. Such a question would likely have led to even worse undercounting in minority communities, meaning a loss of funding and representation. "Remember, the citizenship question is off the census," Cardi says. "No matter what anybody tells you, immigrants with or without papers count, too."

The census ad is only the latest effort by Cardi to keep her fans invested in political issues. She recently questioned the U.S. government's response to the coronavirus pandemic, wondering why celebrities with no symptoms can get tested when ordinary citizens still can't. She's also been outspoken about her support for Bernie Sanders, and last year interviewed him on topics ranging from immigration and healthcare to the criminal justice system.