A Complete Count for Census 2020 Still Requires Action

Blog Series Highlights What Californians Are Doing
Blog Post
July 19, 2019

With the 2020 Census less than a year away, efforts are already underway to support a complete count of Californians. There’s a lot at stake, including representation in Congress and how much federal funding the state will receive for priorities like infrastructure, HeadStart, and low-cost health insurance for kids. Many areas of California are considered “hard to count,” and it will take broad community participation to ensure that all residents are enumerated, so they can ultimately receive the resources they need to thrive.

To support this effort, New America CA will be publishing a blog series about what Californians are doing to support the 2020 Census. These posts are designed to be little snippets that can spark inspiration and action, maybe giving you new ideas or talking points to bring home to your community.

In this first installment in our series, we’re sharing some ideas generated by participants in our spring census workshop, who learned about barriers to census participation from local experts, then worked together to come up with potential solutions. Their recommendations included:

  • Support community education and outreach: post a sign on your lawn, create a filter for your Facebook page that shows you’ve completed your form, identify a census “block captain” in your neighborhood, or just surface the census in everyday conversation. (Important: always make sure the information you’re sharing is accurate!)
  • Create safe spaces for community members to ask questions and complete their forms: throw a census party with neighbors and family members, or help organize a workshop at your local library, school, or place of worship
  • Encourage businesses to participate: suggest to the businesses you patronize that they post census fact sheets in their storefronts or give employees time off to fill out their census forms
  • Engage with or serve as a “trusted messenger”: teachers, clergy members, local celebrities and athletes can incorporate census information into lesson plans, sermons and PSAs
  • Plug into existing infrastructure: get involved with your local Complete Count Committee, and let your city councilperson know that a complete count is important to you

We want to hear what you’re thinking and doing as the census approaches. Write to Rachel Alexander at alexander@newamerica.org to share your story. We may ask to feature you in future installments of the series!