By Governor Gavin Newsom
All Californians can help their communities secure these resources and more by participating in the 2020 Census before September 30. It’s as simple as answering nine easy questions online or on the phone.
As we continue to address the double pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism, many of us are thinking about the world we want to live in, and how we can make it better and safer for the next generation. The Census gives us an opportunity to lay the groundwork for securing the funding that communities need to thrive.
An official count of the population, the Census is used by every level of government to decide funding for our children’s schools, childcare programs, and nutrition and health resources.
The answers you give today will affect us every day for the next ten years. Whether or not you take the Census will impact your 6-year-old until they are in high school.
The Census has helped us tell our American story since the first survey was conducted in 1790. It’s a count of everyone living in the United States, regardless of background, immigration status or citizenship. It paints a proud picture of who we are, informs political representation and determines funding for the foundation of our lives.
By taking the Census, you will help secure billions of dollars of funding for your community, tribal nation and state. You will ensure you and your neighbors are represented in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Communities that have more people officially counted have greater representation in the legislature and the Congress, and they have more funding available to assist with the community needs based on this official count.
The Census gives us the chance to say, “we’re here, we matter and we know what our kids and communities deserve.”
We are proud that California is the most diverse state in the world’s most diverse democracy. Every community in our golden state is unique and each deserves to be counted. But not every community has been counted as they should.
Native Americans, immigrants, non-English speakers, diverse communities and children are among those most often missed by the count. An undercount would take away the power of our voices and count us out of the decisions that affect us. And it would put our future and funding at risk, resulting in less money for our hospitals, fire departments and schools. For every person left uncounted, California could lose $1,000 per person each year for the next ten years.
It’s our mission to include every community in the Census count, including ones who have previously been left out due to language and cultural barriers, fear or misinformation. In California, we are taking the Census as seriously as we take our children’s futures. We’ve made historic investments in ensuring every single person living in California – especially those in hard-to-count communities – is counted. That includes working with non-profit organizations and ethnic media partners to ensure we reach every Californian in the language they speak.
You may have already received instructions in the mail on how to fill out the Census form. If you didn’t, you can still fill out the form online at my2020census.gov or by phone at 844-330-2020. Assistance is available on the phone in several languages. If you received a paper form in the mail, you can fill it out and mail it back.
Make sure you count everyone in your household, including children, and do it before September 30.
As you’re filling out the Census, know that it is safe and confidential. The information collected cannot be shared or used against you in any way. Census data cannot be used for law enforcement purposes or shared with landlords. The Census Bureau will never ask for your Social Security Number, financial information or money. And the 2020 Census is prohibited from asking about immigration or citizenship status.
Right now, Census teams are going door-to-door to follow up with people who have not responded. They are following all public health guidelines, trained to wear a mask and ask the Census questions from outside your home. You can tell if the person is an official Census taker by their I.D. badge and Census Bureau-issued phone.
Remember that by answering these nine easy questions and ensuring a complete count, you are creating a brighter future for your community.
As parents, there is nothing we would not do for our children. This year, add “taking the Census before September 30” to that list.