Let’s work together to ensure that everyone is counted!
April 27, 2020
By now, every single household across the country should have received multiple mailers with instructions on how to fill out the 2020 Census. Many community organizations are grappling with how to engage members and families as on-the-ground, door-to-door outreach and engagement strategies — that have proven to be effective in the past – have been halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic at least until the end of May. Phone calls, text messages, and media outreach strategies are now being used to get the word out. An accurate count is critical – this crisis underscores the need for policymakers to know who lives in each of our communities to plan for providing resources, especially during times of natural disasters, such as fires, and global health emergencies like the one we are experiencing today.
Check Your Local Response Rate
Use the 2020 Response Rate Map Tool to check the 2020 Census response rates by state, county, city, census tract, congressional district, city, town/township, and tribal community. As of today, California’s response rate is just over 54%; let’s keep pushing to Get Out The Count!
Your Efforts are Making a Difference!
The great news is that concerted, collaborative efforts to raise awareness make a difference. On April 1, organizations like yours posted social media messages, made phone calls, and participated in other awareness-raising efforts that helped increase response rates by 3% from the day before; and that was just the beginning.
Let’s keep up the momentum and outreach efforts through August 14 – the new deadline for census responses (Note: The U.S. Census Bureau just requested to extend the collection period to October 31; we will share updates when we know more).
Learn more with these resources from national and state partners, as well as the U.S. Census Bureau on reaching hard-to-count populations, including young children, children living with grandparents and communities of color. Please use these and share them with your networks to help Get Out The Count so that all communities, and especially those that are most vulnerable, get the services and supports they need now and in the future.
Thank you for all of your hard work in ensuring that California has a thorough and accurate 2020 Census count!
Grandparents living with and caring for children are a critical population to reach in the 2020 Census outreach campaign. Nationwide, 2.7 million grandparents are raising grandchildren, and about 20% of those earn incomes that fall below the federal poverty line. Kids living with their grandparents had a 39% higher risk of being missed in the last census, and in California, more children are living with their grandparents than in any other state. Nearly half of all children living with their grandparents are under the age of six (47.1%), and adults are always not aware that you need to count every child, related or not, living in your home, including infants. Ensuring all children are counted will mean more resources for families and these resources will enable us to better meet their unique needs.
Percentage of CA Grandparents Living with and Caring for Children 18 and Under
American Indian / Alaska Native
Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander
Other Race Alone
As community leaders engaged in census outreach work, you understand the importance of ensuring an accurate count, especially as it relates to the allocation of vital resources. Some communities may be invisible to the extensive state outreach efforts because they are either small in number or not geographically concentrated, the primary focus of most Census Outreach planning strategies.
“The NHPI population in California is comprised of proportionally more youth than any other racial group; 1 in 3 NHPI are youth under age 18.”
-Tavae Samuelu, Executive Director, EPIC
California is home to the largest number of native Hawaiian, Guamanian, Chamorro, Fijian, Samoan, and Tongan Americans, more than any other state in the nation. NHPI live in almost every county in the state, with the largest populationsin Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, Alameda, and Orange Counties. However, some of the fastest-growing NHPI populations statewide live in the Inland Empire counties of Riverside and San Bernardino. According to the 2010 Census, there were more than 286,000 NHPI statewide. U.S. Census Bureau projections from 2013 estimate the population to be more than 340,000.[i] of the 7.2% of NHPI grandparents living with children in California, 23.2% are responsible for the care of a child under the age of 18. The 2020 Census will be an important opportunity to understand the NHPI population in our state and across the country. Many of their languages were not considered common enough to be included in materials created by the California State Census office or the U.S. Census Bureau.
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), a national group based in Southern California, has created a series of PSAs (made with the support of Asian Americans Advancing Justice), to help support outreach to their community members, who are not always geographically concentrated. As such, they need your help in reaching members of the community, who may live in neighborhoods where your organization is already engaged. If you know or encounter community members who may be NHPI, please use and share the below resources, in their native languages, to support them to fill out the 2020 Census:
Marshallese PSA: https://youtu.be/9IdNG2f5kps
Samoan PSA: https://youtu.be/D-d_IXESvyw
Palauan PSA: https://youtu.be/H-3uWt2iLrQ
Tongan PSA: https://youtu.be/KmQmqj3PURE
Hashtags: #CountUsIn2020 #WhoWillWriteMyStory #PasifikaCount
2020 NATIONAL CENSUS PARTNER RESOURCES
The national Count All Kids campaign has compiled a vast well of resources with posters and graphics in several languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Korean, French, Polish, Tagalog, Russian, Portuguese, Russian, Vietnamese, and many more. They also have printed small hand-sized cards that can be dropped into school meals. Please contact Stacy Lee (Children Now) at firstname.lastname@example.org if your Head Start, school district, or other site is interested in adding these informational cards to your food distribution efforts.
CALIFORNIA CENSUS PARTNERS & RESOURCES
Children birth to age 5 are the hardest-to-count age group, a gap that has grown worse with each census. Families with young children experience more uncertainty, stress, and may be housed in complex living arrangements, all of which are circumstances that result in a lower count. The First 5 Association has created a comprehensive resource page with toolkits, messaging guides, and other helpful content on their page here.
According to California Calls, “California has the 5th largest Black population in the United States with 3,011,021 African Americans, making up 8% of the total state population.” Additionally, of the 4.2% African American grandparents in California living with children, 36.5% are responsible for their care. The complexity and layers of challenges facing black children and families put them at a higher risk of not being fully counted in the census and make efforts to improve the count of black children and families critical. For more information and resources, check out the webpage here.
The National Urban League has also been creating PSAs and other resources you can use to educate and engage black community members on the Census.
More than one million young children were undercounted in the last census, and 400,000 of those children were Latino. Our partners at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) have been working tirelessly to raise awareness, provide training, and develop easy-to-use content and materials to assist you in your outreach efforts. Take a look at their Hazme Contar campaign for young children birth to age 5 and Hagase Contar campaign for the general population. You can also share their recently released this PSA in English and Spanish with your networks. NALEO has also developed double-sided flyers with census information for families and caregivers in English/Spanish, Armenian, Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese in addition to many other resources.
The Count Us In campaign provides a wide range of resources, fact sheets, webinars, and podcasts to provide the tools you need to reach out to the ANHPI communities. They have translated their materials into more than 20 languages. They also staff a Census Hotline to answer questions about where community members can access their census forms: call 1-844-2020 for assistance in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Urdu, Hindi, and Bengali. The hotline is not intended to provide help filling out the Census; the U.S. Census Bureau phone lines are best suited for that information.
Our partners at Disability Rights California provide simplified census information on their website here. The page is available in larger font sizes and has clear, easy-to-understand information and links. The page is also accessible in the following languages: English, Spanish / Español, Korean / 한국어, Chinese / 中文, Vietnamese / Tiếng Việt, Russian / русский, Tagalog, Hmong / Hmoob, Armenian / հայերեն, Arabic / عربى, Japanese / 日本語, and Persian, Farsi / فا.
RESOURCES FROM THE U.S. CENSUS BUREAU
The U.S. Census Bureau released census questionnaire guides in more than 60 different languages. The guide will also be available in Braille and large print in the weeks ahead. Please share these guides with your network and use the translated terms for material development. National and state organizations are translating resources in additional languages that will be available in the weeks ahead.
To get involved with local Complete Count efforts, contact your regional County Complete Count lead. Review the contact list here under the tab “California County and Local Complete Count Partner Information” to find your regional lead.