News Release: California Leaders and Community Groups Unite to Support Census Efforts One Year from Census Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 2, 2019
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California Leaders and Community Groups Unite to Support Census Efforts One Year from Census Day

SACRAMENTO – State leaders, key advocates and community members came together Tuesday to highlight California’s efforts to ensure a complete and accurate Census count one year out from Census Day 2020.

“California is determined to ensure we achieve a complete census count. We’ve started early and are committing more resources than any other state on a robust outreach and engagement effort to reach all Californians,” said Ditas Katague, Director, California Complete Count – Census 2020. “Our collaborative partnerships throughout the state will make a difference in 2020, which may be the most difficult Census count yet for California.”

Tuesday’s kick-off event is part of a week-long effort from April 1-7 known as the 2020 Census Call to Action when Census stakeholders and partners will hold similar events throughout California.

“Our state’s future will be shaped by an accurate assessment of our population,” said Eleni Kounalakis, Lieutenant Governor of California. “It has never been more important to ensure that all the people of California are counted.”

Many Californians live in areas that, based on demographic, socioeconomic and housing characteristics, may be hard to count in the 2020 Census. The State will target its outreach and communication efforts on reaching the hardest-to-count Californians.

These hard-to-count individuals include foreign-born residents, renters, individuals living in homes without a broadband subscription, people living close to or below the poverty line, and children younger than five years old.

“It is critical that every single person in our communities gets counted. If we, as individuals, are not counted, our neighborhoods and communities will lose millions of dollars – lost money for education, health care, and infrastructure. WE cannot let that happen. Also, our numbers determine how electoral districts will be decided. If we want representatives who will fight for us on school boards, in the State Legislature and the Congress, we have to be counted. ¡Sí Se Puede! One person! One count!” – Dolores Huerta, Founder & President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation

California leaders have invested $100.3 million toward a statewide outreach and communication campaign. Governor Newsom’s 2019-20 proposed Budget includes an additional $54 million to bolster the State’s efforts. In total this is a proposed $154.3 million investment for the 2020 Census.

“I want to make the Census go viral in California. My district and California as a whole have some of the hardest to count populations in the country, but we’re going to make sure everyone counts,” said Speaker of the California State Assembly Anthony Rendon. “The Census is coming and it’s important. We all need to use our good reputations to remind everyone in every community to participate.”

The California State Senate and Assembly each have select committees on the Census, which are co-chaired by Senators Dr. Richard Pan and Tom Umberg and Assemblymember Marc Berman, respectively.

“We need to be sure everyone is counted, because for every person undercounted, California and local governments will lose significant federal funding and our voices won’t be heard through representation in government,” said Dr. Richard Pan, state senator representing the Sacramento area. “As we confront the mammoth task of counting all people living in California, the work we do now to prepare and the resources we devote to the effort will be instrumental to an accurate census.”

“The 2020 Census will shape California’s future for the next decade. Accurate Congressional representation and billions of dollars in federal funding are at stake,” said Assemblymember Marc Berman, chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Census. “California is a big, bold, beautiful, diverse state – and because of that, we’re also the hardest to count in the country. With 365 days until the start of the 2020 Census, I am grateful for all of our community partners who are actively engaging our most vulnerable and hard-to-count populations whose participation is critical to our success in securing a complete and accurate count of all Californians.”

Working through local governments, Tribal Governments, community-based organizations and media, the State is funding efforts that will complement work being done nationally by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The State has awarded outreach contracts to:

In addition, the State has agreements to distribute money to County Governments, Tribal Governments and County Offices of Education.

Once each decade, the U.S. Census Bureau attempts to count every person in the United States. The next enumeration will be April 1, 2020 and will be the first to rely heavily on online responses. The data collected by the decennial Census determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is used to distribute billions of dollars in federal funds to state and local governments.

Watch a recap of the press conference here — For more information, please go to

What Others Are Saying:

“The U.S. Census is vital to our democracy. It paints a picture of America – who we are, what we look like, and what our needs are – and that picture is a key factor in determining the distribution of resources in our country. California stands to lose more than any other state if we don’t have a thorough Census. We have more “hard to count” communities than any other state, including people of color, immigrants and families in rural communities. I will continue to work hard to make sure everyone is counted, I hope you will take the opportunity to make sure your family is part of the American picture.” – Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins.

“As the Assemblymember from the 59th Assembly district, I represent one of the most undercounted census districts in California.  It is imperative that we work to change the chronic undercounting of my district and many other disadvantaged communities throughout the state. It is a constitutional right for every Californian to be counted in the census and I will do everything in my power to protect those populations who are fearful of participating due to pressure from the federal administration. We must all work together to provide opportunities for individuals to boldly step forward and be counted. I will work with all stakeholders to administer innovative solutions to ensure AD 59 is not an undercounted district in California. It’s time to take action and ensure that everyone is counted.” – Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer, Sr.

“We are encouraged by the steps California is taking toward fairness and equity to address  a solvable problem that we have learned to live with for way too long. Armed with all the troubling statistics and having reached a deeper understanding of the problems, we – Black community leaders and media professionals – are committed. We are looking ahead and we are ready to do everything on the front end to prevent yet another undercount in the 2020 Census. – Regina Brown Wilson, Executive Director, California Black Media

“The American Indian and Alaska Native Census 2020 Count is critical to achieving the most accurate count for our Hard to Count communities whether on the reservations, in the rural areas or in the urban cities. We represent the smallest percentage of the population and too often are overlooked in and categorized as ‘other’ in socio and economic demographics. Thus our communities receive scarce to no funding. The investment by California’s Governors is an opportunity for a better count of California’s American Indian and Alaska Native population. Our job is to make the most of this opportunity and investment to reach all of California tribal, rural and urban communities and education our people on the importance of being counted and prepare them for the venues on how be counted.” – Lorenda Sanchez, Executive Director, California Indian Manpower Consortium, Inc.

As one of the top ten Hard to Count counties in the 2010 census, Sacramento recognizes that those deemed Hard to Count are in fact our most diverse communities and our diversity is our strength!  In order to count the hard to count, Sacramento, like many other counties throughout the state, will rest on the power of our diverse communities to drive our outreach strategies and ensure a fair, accurate, and Complete Count for the resources and representation our communities deserve. – Gabby Trejo, Co-Chair, Sacramento Complete Count Committee and Executive Director, Sacramento ACT

“California’s cities recognize the important role they play in ensuring that every Californian is counted in the upcoming Census and are preparing now to ensure this happens,” says Carolyn Coleman, executive director, League of California Cities. “The League, as well as cities throughout California, look forward to partnering with the state, community partners and others to raise awareness of the importance of the Census and work to ensure that all Californians are counted once, only once, and in the right place.” – Carolyn Coleman, Executive Director, League of California Cities


The California Complete Count – Census 2020 Mission

Ensure that Californians get their fair share of federal resources and Congressional representation by encouraging the full participation of all Californians in Census 2020.