Jennifer Lee from the US Census Bureau discussed the upcoming 2020 US census at the October 1 Fullerton City Council meeting.
April 1, 2020 is the official census day.
“The census is upon us and it’s also written in the constitution. According to Article 1, Section 2 of our US Constitution, we are to count every resident living in the United States. All residents means everyone. Everyone, including citizens, non-citizens, documented and undocumented,” Lee said. “Census data is critical and is used as a standard to apportion more than $675 billion annually, which fund vital programs such as our roads, schools, first responders, WIC programs, etc. It is planned nationally, but it happens at a very local level…it’s the cornerstone of our democracy.”
Census data is also used to re-draw lines of congressional districts.
Lee sought to dispel any misinformation regarding the census. No one (citizen and non-citizen) needs to fear answering census questions because all respondent information is 100% confidential and protected by law according to Title 13 of the US Code.
The census is now available in 12 languages to support a linguistically diverse population, including Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese.
Respondees will also have the option, for the fist time ever in history since 1790, to respond online. There will also be the traditional mail-in form and phone methods as well.
To help ensure everyone is counted, the Census Bureau is encouraging cities to form “Complete Count Committees” to include local leaders and organizations. Currently neighboring cities such as Santa Ana, Anaheim, Irvine, La Palma, and Buena Park are forming CCCs. Fullerton does not yet have a CCC but according to city manager Domer, one is in the works.
Additionally, the Fullerton Collaborative have stepped up and committed to include the census in their agenda at each of their board meetings.
“The reason to form CCCs is really to focus and have an organizational synergy to unify efforts in stirring census awareness for the city of Fullerton. An effective CCC would have leaders from the community who can bring that important education and awareness for a complete count in 2020,” Lee said.
In the 2010 census, there was a low census response in this area of 31.3%.
The US Census Bureau is currently hiring people for the 2020 census. Those interested can log online to 2020census.gov/jobs.
Nancy Avila, regional Census campaign manager for Naleo Educational Fund, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that seeks to facilitate full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.
“Our organization is making available various census campaign resources including bilingual English/Spanish fact sheets, Powerpoint presentations, social media, and a bilingual census hotline than anyone can call for information on the census and to report any concerns,” Avila said. For more information visit www.naleo.org.
“The census is very important for both our country and the city here,” city manger Ken Domer said. His Deputy City Manager will be working on the Complete Count Committee.
For more information visit www.census.gov.
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