CATHEDRAL CITY – Two City Councilors are expected to be tapped Wednesday, May 8, to serve on an Ad-Hoc Census 2020 Complete Count Committee California.  The state, particularly Riverside County and San Bernardino counties, are known as difficult-to-count when it comes to the U.S. Census.

The United States Constitution calls for a count of residents, or census, every ten years. The responses help direct programs and policies for the next 10 years.

In addition to apportioning representatives to Congress, the census provides population counts that are used in many important decisions that impact Cathedral City, including determination of eligibility for Community Development Block Grant funding and other state and federal grants, according to City Manager Charles McClendon.

Census data is also used to determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds are distributed back to states and local communities every year for services and infrastructure, including health care, jobs, schools, roads and businesses.

The next decennial census will be conducted in April 2020.

One of the methods the Census Bureau suggests local jurisdictions use to help obtain a complete count in their community is the formation of a local Complete Count Committee. They further suggest that persons serving on the committee should be trusted leaders –such as City Councilors — within the various communities in the city, particularly within identified “difficult to count” communities.

The committee, if established, will work to identify ways to reach into the community to inform residents of the importance of getting a complete count, the benefits to our community, the security and confidentiality of census data and other relevant facts about the census.

Staff recommends the Council assign two Councilors to work on the committee and begin the process of identifying key people in the community who might volunteer to work on the committee. Once the committee is established, staff and consultants from the Census Bureau will help get the committee started on its work.

Chris Parman, Communications/Events Manager, and Vince Lopez, Senior Administrative Analyst, will provide staff support to the committee.

There is no direct cost other than staff time. Grant support is available through the State and the Census Bureau to provide advertising materials and other items to support the mission of the committee

All communities with mail return rates of 73% or less are considered as “hard to count,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The census has historically undercounted low-income communities, rural communities and communities containing significant foreign-born populations.

An estimated one-third of the population in Riverside County is considered “hard-to-count.”

Sarah Bohn of the Public Policy Institute of California told CALMatters if the state’s immigrant communities are undercounted, “it would be entirely possible for us to lose a seat in Congress.”

Thus, the need for the Ad-Hoc Census 2020 Complete Count Committee California

An estimated one quarter of California’s population lives in “hard-to-count” areas. But when it comes to Riverside County, approximated 38% of the population resides in “hard-to-count” areas..

Image Sources

  • 2020 Census: Shutterstock