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LA County residents embrace Census

More than 50 percent of LA County residents have embraced the 2020 Census. Encouraged by the response, County officials urge more residents to complete Census Encouraged by response rate, County officials urge more residents to complete Census LOS ANGELES

More than 50 percent of LA County residents have embraced the 2020 Census. Encouraged by the response, County officials urge more residents to complete Census

Encouraged by response rate, County officials urge more residents to complete Census

LOS ANGELES – The LA County Board of Supervisors announced that as of May 1, more than 50 percent of residents have responded to the 2020 Census. LA County is below the California response rate of 56 percent and the national response rate of 54.6 percent (as of April 29, 2020).

In the 2010 Census, the total self-response rate for the County was 69 percent. The low response rate contributed to the loss of hundreds of millions of federal dollars over the past 10 years due to the resulting undercount. Another undercount in the 2020 Census would be especially damaging due to the effects of COVID-19.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger said the response in 2020 is promising.

“This benchmark shows that unless we get responses from every one of our community members, Los Angeles County will only receive a portion of the funding we need to support essential programs and services,” Barger said. “The census is mandatory and our goal is 100 percent participation from our residents. This milestone serves as a reminder that we’re only halfway there.”

The census influences billions in federal funding for local hospitals, parks, schools and affordable housing programs in the county. Census data guides funding for programs including the Title I Schools, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, WIC, Head Start, and community health centers funded through the Health Resources and Services Administration Health Center Program.

“Accurate census data helps fund important research and programs that strengthen our public health system,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “Our communities depend on the census for hospital and medical resources that keep our families safe in times like these.

“In critical moments, no one stands alone. I encourage everyone in LA County to take 10 minutes of their day to complete the census,” urged Solis. “Everyone counts in LA County.”

Solis encouraging county residents to log onto 2020census.gov, call (844) 330-2020 or mail in completed forms.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau has extended the official response deadline to Oct. 31 online, by phone or by mail.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas acknowledged that COVID-19 is foremost on everyone’s mind and assured the County of Los Angeles is doing everything possible to keep families and communities safe.

He noted that, “Getting an accurate count this year will help ensure LA County is equipped to handle crises like the COVID-19 outbreak in the future. Funding for health care and other emergency response programs is dependent on census data,” Ridley-Thomas said.

The worldwide pandemic and “Safer at Home” orders have forced a shift in outreach strategy for the county and the region’s “Get Out The Count” efforts, which are designed to urge residents to take part in the 2020 Census.

Supervisor Janice Hahn noted, “During every other Census, we have relied on field outreach like door-to-door visits from census workers, community events, and church visits to get the word out to communities about completing the Census.

“This pandemic has made those strategies impossible – but we have adjusted and we are using creative ways to tell residents through the mail, over the phone, and on social media about why completing the census is the easiest, fastest and most effective way to help your community, even during these difficult times,” Hahn said.

“We are glad that the messages regarding how important it is to fill out your census forms – and that it only takes a few minutes to complete and submit them – seem to be resonating with residents,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “October 31 might seem a long way off, but it will be here before we know it so [we] can’t let up now. It’s time to work together to ensure that everyone is counted in order to help shape services and the future for our families.”

Filling out the census form is simple and fast. Census forms can be completed online at my2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020 (a list of in-language options is available here) or by mail if you receive a paper form.

The 2020 Census officially kicked off on March 12, with the U.S. Census Bureau sending letters to all households in the county, inviting residents to participate either online or by phone. Households that haven’t responded to the census received paper forms by mail in mid-April.

The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the nation’s population every 10 years. Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in Congress and how much in federal funding is allocated to state and local communities for the next 10 years.

Local government officials use the census to ensure public safety and plan new schools and hospitals. Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices, and stores, which creates jobs. Real estate developers and city planners use the census to plan new homes and improve neighborhoods. Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life, and consumer advocacy.

Completing the census is private. Responses are protected by federal law, specifically Title 13 of the United States Code. They cannot be shared with any other government agencies or other entities, including your landlord.

For non-English speaking residents, the LA County 2020 Census website offers county-specific information in 16 languages and the U.S 2020 Census website offers general information in 59 languages including in-language guides. Visit https://census.lacounty.gov/ and https://2020census.gov/ for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Los Angeles County, California, and the world.

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