The County Voice

Time to Get Out the Count: Census 2020

Tomorrow, August 6, is California’s statewide Get Out the Count Day for the 2020 Census. Throughout the state, outreach partners including counties, cities, legislative offices, local community-based organizations, and civic groups join to celebrate and activate Californians to take the 2020 Census. What better time than now to help your county meet their goals and help our state secure funding and representation for the next 10 years? This is a culmination of the Census Weeks of Action that began on July 27.

I am thrilled to see 11 counties already surpass their Self-Response Rate from 2010.  I know Siskiyou County is getting close and many other counties out there are too. Counties can and will make the difference in the coming months as the opportunity to respond continues.

CSAC Policy Committee hearings began planning for the census two years ago with briefings on what the 2020 Census would entail – and the billions of dollars in the balance for essential programs, services, infrastructure, plus government representation from the Congressional level to local county supervisorial districts.

Counties that became contracted outreach partners with the State knew expecting the unexpected would be naturally included in planning. Emergencies, disasters, misinformation campaigns, and policy changes from the federal government were all taken into consideration.

But who could have imagined, really imagined, that the nation’s largest peacetime mobilization would take place amidst a pandemic, the likes we have not seen in California for almost a century?

With the necessary health and safety precautions due to COVID-19, nearly all in-person activities and events were put on hold. County innovation rose to meet this new challenge and keep the Census message going.

Outreach efforts included high-tech shifts toward virtual town halls, and Facebook and Instagram Live events on social media, and with support from community partner phone banking and text drives. We are also seeing the low tech, back-to-basics approaches as well. Partners are wearing Census t-shirts at the food banks and school lunch pick up spots. They are hanging posters at service desks and essential service locations. Lawn signs – many designed by local neighbors – are popping up in key communities.

Tomorrow, please join the Get Out the Count effort – August 6 – and help our State be counted.  Please follow the Census twitter account @CACensus and retweet our messages- or share your own using some of the facts below. Be sure to use the Get Out the County hashtags as well.

Some key facts you can share as part of Get Out the Count:

  • The Census counts everyone living in the United States regardless of their background or immigration status. It’s a simple and confidential nine question survey. Questions include your name, address, sex, race, and age. 
  • Responses to the Census are protected by law and cannot be shared with, or used by, any other government agencies. Answers cannot be used for law enforcement purposes or to determine eligibility for government benefits or immigration enforcement. Census data will not be shared with your landlords.
  • For those worried about the latest actions by the Federal Administration, please remember that there is no citizenship question. The Census will never ask about your citizenship status or for your social security number, bank details, payment, or a donation. Census data is not used to determine eligibility for any public programs.
  • The Census is foundational to our nation – it is the most inclusive civic activity we engage in. By participating, we can set forth a roadmap for the future of our communities, in the nation’s most socially and economically powerful state. We can ensure the voices of the most unmanifested continue to be pushed forward.

Get Out the Count Hashtags

We encourage you to use the following hashtags in your posts on Get Out the Count Day!

  • #GetOuttheCount
  • #EveryMoveCounts
  • #EveryoneCounts
  • #CaliforniaCounts
  • #2020Census

Census takers will start knocking on doors August 11 – taking necessary precautions for both staff and the homes they are visiting. These census takers are people from the local community who are sworn, under oath of the United States Constitution, to uphold privacy and safety of the data they collect. But better yet, households can avoid the door knock and go online to my2020census.gov For more information, visit www.CACensus.org

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