Melissa Enriquez decided to participate in the 2020 Census as soon as she received a letter with her access code to fill out the online form at her home in San Diego County.
“I was suspicious at first because I noticed that they asked for a lot of information”, Talks the Mexican immigrant.
However, she says that since he started filling it out, the process was easier for her.
In her responses, which she indicates only took a few minutes to respond, she included her children and her mother, who lives with her.
Enriquez confirmed that the questionnaire does not ask anything about the immigration status of the people.
“I knew that answering the Census could help my community and others in need in California,” she explains.
Ditas Katague, director of the California Complete Count, highlights the importance of participating in the Census so that communities have the resources they need.
“It’s about power, it’s about money, it’s about data,” he explained. Now, for example, in the midst of a situation like the pandemic, “it is very important to be counted in order to respond to emergencies,” he says.
Only a week after the count started, participation was significant in Southern California and the Bay area, mainly.
San Diego was preparing to reach the barrier of 50% of participation in the 2020 population count this Wednesday, by adding a total of 49.9% of counted households early.
Los Angeles lagged with 41.9% of households counted, below the national average of 46.2%.
However, several California counties had already advanced over 50% participation.
Orange County and Ventura County, in Southern California, exceeded 50% of participation and in the north of the state all the counties of the Bay had the same advance, except in San Francisco with only 44.1% of responses. .
California as a whole was located this Wednesday with 46.1% of households responding — with just 0.01% difference to match the national average.
Access to connection
The abundant participation in this year’s count is largely due to the fact that families and households can respond online.
Of the total responses in California, 43% came from households that sent the questionnaire back after choosing the option online.
While only 3.1% preferred to do it by phone or other available ways.
In San Diego County, 48.2% responded online, as Melissa Enriquez did; and only 1.7% preferred to answer by other means.
The use of the global network has also been the preference in Los Angeles with 39.3% of households, which means that only 1.6% responded by phone or through other alternatives.
What is the count for?
The final statistics not only help to know how much the total population is, it is much more important than that.
The results of the 2020 Census will make it possible to distribute one and a half trillion dollars over the next 10 years among state and local governments, non-profit organizations and community benefit companies, among others.
“The opportunity to count everyone will not reappear until 2030. Meanwhile, for every Californian not counted this year, your community will lose about $ 10,000 a year in federal spending,” said Katague of the California Full Count office.
He explained that these are federal tax dollars that, among more than 300 programs, are used to build roads, schools, pay for health care and the nutritional needs of the community, and much more.
But in addition, a complete count, allows California to have a proportional representative number of legislators in Congress.
As the most populous state, it may have a greater number of congressmen legislating according to the principles and needs of Californians.
“If California loses a seat in Congress to North Carolina or Texas, I can’t even imagine the impact it would have,” warns Katague. So the state asks that everyone participate in the Census.
When the season ends when residents answer the questionnaire on their own initiative, whether online, by phone, or by regular mail, census takers will start visiting the homes.
The count ends in August, but the Census Bureau highlights the importance of early participation and then focuses on the most difficult-to-reach communities. For more information: 2020census.gov/en.html
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