Officials involved with local 2020 census efforts want to get out the message that getting the count right is particularly important when it comes to local impacts, particularly funding. Organizers with the local effort are also looking for all the help they can get.
The U.S. Census is done every 10 years to provide a count of residents across the country, but also in respective communities. Dulce Alonso, a management analyst in the county administration office, noted how the online census survey will open in March, with invitations mailed to residents that month as well.
Those numbers are used to calculate local jurisdictions and organizations’ shares of federal funding, and government representatives have been saying a $2,000 per person figure – the amount of funding that will come or go to local interests based on the census count – is likely way off.
“The bureau isn’t using that number anymore,” said Alonso. “They think it’s a lot bigger than just the $2,000.”
The census also plays a big role in determining changes to voting districts such as those for local school districts, Alonso mentioned.
Considering the importance of the census, county officials are looking for partners to help get the word out and emphasize the schedule, especially with the census done online for the first time next year.
“More or less we’re looking for partnerships, local organizations that can help,” Alonso told San Benito Live.
She said the county is seeking organizations with established trust in the community to educate people and be a source for people to obtain information.
“We’re working on creating a message,” she said. “That’s one of our challenges: How do we motivate people. We’re trying to figure that out ourselves.”
Residents with questions can contact Alonso at (831) 636-4000, Ext.18 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
She provided the following text that’s also being used on a county flier promoting the efforts:
“The 2020 Census is so much more than just a head count; it’s an opportunity for San Benito County to be counted. It is a picture of America which defines how many congressional seats are apportioned, how state and federal dollars are dispersed, redistricting, where businesses chose to open new stores. Every Californian has the constitutional right to be counted. The count needs to be accurate to display who we are, what we look like, and what our needs are as these are a critical factor in defining the distribution of resources to our country. The next count will be on April 1, 2020, and will be the first to rely heavily on online responses, let’s empower our community to be heard and counted. An undercount of the population would have far-reaching consequences for San Benito County, as every individual not counted impacts of $2000 per year in lost resources, over ten years than $20,000 for each not counted. In 2010 San Benito County had an estimated undercount of It could skew the data that is used to determine how many congressional representations are set, how billions of dollars a year are allocated, including for schools and hospitals. The hashtag we are using: # SanBenitoCounts”