BY DEBBIE ARRINGTON
Why the Census is so important for our kids, neighbors and families
The 2020 Census is almost over! And a lot is riding on this big count.
Californians’ responses will not only help toward fair political representation, but also bring needed resources for your community.
RESOURCES FOR COMMUNITY
The 2020 Census will decide how billions of federal dollars are distributed in California. An undercount could impact funding for Kern and Tulare counties for our schools, health services, childcare, emergency services and many other programs.
HOW MUCH IS AT STAKE?
Estimates show that for every person uncounted, California could lose $1,000 to $2,000 annually for 10 years. That’s as much as $10,000 to $20,000 per person in funds lost over the next decade.
California is considered the hardest-to-count state in the nation, with high populations of children younger than 5 years old as well as other vulnerable populations, including immigrants, renters, individuals living in homes without a broadband subscription, and people living close to or below the poverty line. Tulare and Kern Counties have high percentages of these populations.
A complete and accurate count of California’s population is historically difficult, but even more so in 2020 due to the political climate and COVID-19. That’s why state officials and community leaders want to assure all Californians about the simplicity of the Census questions and are emphasizing that their information will be protected and not shared with other agencies.
“All of us count equally under the Census,” says Victims of Crime attorney Reina Canale, Program Manager and 2020 Census Coordinator for California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. “Having a complete and accurate count matters to our state and every local community.
“Spread the word of the importance of Census participation as an ambassador to your friends, family, coworkers and social media followers.”