Today, the California Census 2020 Campaign and the First 5 Association of California announce a range of outreach strategies and partnerships to help ensure the state’s youngest children are counted in the upcoming 2020 Census.
Through their All Kids Count campaign, First 5 Association of California is using the campaign to complement its outreach to young children and their families and has forged a partnership that brings together California’s largest networks working with children aged zero to five in California.
Through the First 5 campaign’s toolkit, which includes social media, videos, and printed materials, families will receive information in ways that are most respectful of their first language. First 5s across California are partnering with partnering with school districts and foodbanks across the state to distribute Census materials to families with young children as part of existing food distribution operations. The campaign will deploy trusted messengers including in PSAs in English and Spanish airing on PBS from April 1.
They are also sharing resources with relevant state agencies and departments like the California Health and Human Services Agency to inform Californians they already serve. Each partner serves the most at risk and isolated, and hardest-to-count families in the state.
“Young children in California have been historically undercounted in previous censuses. They are also those with the most to gain from a complete count – it is their future that this Census will fund, their representation that will be determined. It is crucial that parents and guardians have the tools and information necessary to ensure that our young children are counted in 2020,” said Ditas Katague, Director of the California Complete Count – Census 2020.
Ensuring the youngest children are counted has been a historic challenge. Moreover, there is evidence that the undercount for this population has been increasing while there has been an improvement in coverage for other age groups. The 2010 Census had a net undercount of 4.6 percent for young children, compared with a net overcount of 0.1 percent for the total population. That translates into a net undercount of almost 1 million young children nationwide, and around 210,000 in California—the highest of any state.
“This campaign is about helping families secure the support they need for the next decade. An undercount of young children in 2020 would affect funding for programs that support children: schools, childcare, health care, food assistance, housing, and public transportation,” said Kim Goll, President of the First 5 Association of California Executive Committee Board.
In light of COVID-19 concerns, it is important to highlight that every Californian can respond to the Census online at https://my2020census.govor by phone by calling the numbers available below, or by mail if they received a paper form.
The California will continue outreach and education efforts in a way that protects the health and safety of all Californians. That includes shifting toward phone banks, webinars and events where partners can continue to give the state’s hard-to-reach communities the information and the support they need to participate in the Census with confidence.
What Californians Need to Know About the 2020 Census:
· The Census is a simple, confidential 9 question survey
· Questions include name, address, sex, race, ethnicity, age, and whether you own or rent the home
· Californians should self-identify in regard to race, ethnicity and gender
· Make sure you count everyone in your home, including any friends or family members who are living and sleeping there most of the time
· The Census Bureau will never ask about your citizenship status, or for sensitive information like your social security number, bank accounts, or payments/donations
· The Census Bureau will never reach out to you on behalf of a political party
· Your 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, to determine eligibility for government benefits or immigration enforcement
· For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit californiacensus.org.
Why California’s Participation Counts
Ensuring every California household participates in the Census is critically important. Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the Census determines how billions of dollars of federal funding are distributed to each state every year for education resources, affordable housing programs, nutrition and health care services, and more. Estimates show that for every person uncounted, California could lose $1,000 a year for 10 years. That’s as much as $10,000 per person in funds lost over the next decade.
The Census also determines the state’s political representation through the number of representatives in the U.S. Congress and the California State Legislature. Participating in the Census can help ensure Californians’ voices are heard in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
The California Complete Count – Census 2020 Office
Once each decade, the U.S. Census Bureau attempts to count every person in the United States. California leaders have invested $187.2 million toward a statewide outreach and communication campaign. For more information, please go to https://californiacensus.org/.
DATA: To see data on the hard-to-count populations in cities, counties, congressional and legislative districts in California, please visit: https://census.ca.gov/htcfactsheets/.