My Thoughts On 2020 Census
COVID-19 crisis has affected all of us. It has changed the way we live our daily lives and now it has complicated the 2020 Census. Counting every person living in California continues to be the highest priority. We must not let COVID-19 impact how our government operates for the next decade.
There is much at stake if there is an undercount, and we know there are millions of Californians in the “hard-to-count” category. They include immigrants, communities of color, LGTBQ and low-income families that might not participate in the census if we don’t remind them how important and for how long the 2020 Census count will affect all of us. We must count every individual to see that they are properly represented in government, in our schools and in the funding that is allocated on the basis of population. And don’t forget that 2020 Census numbers will also provide resources for access to health care and if COVID-19 has taught us anything it has to be that access to healthcare is vitally important and must be accessible to everyone.
In addition, researchers use Census data to map health trends, housing patterns, and educational attainment. There are thousands of researchers using this data for thousands of research projects on all types of public policy issues.
We must have accurate Census data to conduct our research, and that’s why “everyone counts.”
We must all do everything in our power to work with trusted advocates to have a complete count of residents, as the U.S. Constitution requires. An incomplete Census count is a win for those whose goal is to exclude not include. In California, an undercount will cost us political representation and millions of dollars in federal and state funds that are allocated based on Census numbers.
The US Census Bureau has stopped the door to door and in community outreach for the Census due to the Coronavirus. But that only means we have to find alternative ways to reach people. We need to use technology, social media, phone and media to make sure to let people know that while they practice social distancing and are sheltering in place, they can take a couple of minutes and fill out their Census form.
We can change the odds in California through the empowerment of those who for too long have been excluded from the power structures of government at every level.
There were already undercount challenges before the COVID-19 crisis, and now with the restrictions from the US Census Bureau it only adds to the complications of a complete count. But we must ensure the 2020 U.S. Census counts every person living in California. Join the fight to have an accurate Census and fill out your Census form, it will help you in the next 10 years.