CONTACT: Rosa Maria Santana, Deputy Communications Director, (213) 359-0795 [email protected]
LOS ANGELES, CA – With more than 10 million residents, Los Angeles County is considered by the U.S. Census to be the hardest-to-count county in the nation. In the City of Los Angeles, the County’s most populated city, residents speak over 200 different languages and more than 70 percent are renters. To ensure mobile individuals and families who do not speak English are counted in the U.S. Census, the Board of Supervisors today passed a motion, authored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and co-authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn, to proclaim April 1 as ‘Census Call to Action Day’ to heighten awareness of the urgent need to count every County resident in the 2020 Census.
“At our April 1 Census Call to Action, Supervisor Janice Hahn and Mayor Eric Garcetti will join me, along with residents from throughout the County, to reiterate what’s at stake if we undercount our hard-to-count populations,” said Supervisor Solis. “We stand to lose about $2,000 for each person we neglect to count. If we undercount the County’s population by a million people, we could lose $20 billion over the course of a decade. Freeway projects could be jeopardized, workforce development programs could be affected, and school programs could be cut.
“An accurate census count is not only foundational to representative democracy, but it ensures that schools and communities throughout LA County will receive their fair share of federal funding,” continued Supervisor Solis. “LA County will rise to the challenge to make sure every County resident is counted in the 2020 Census. Everyone counts!”
“The 2020 Census is just one year away and there is already so much at stake,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “Every LA County resident who goes uncounted will cost the County thousands of dollars in much-needed Federal funding that we need so that we can fix our roads, improve our hospitals, and so much more. It’s up to all of us to get the word out early and often. The Census is coming and it’s both safe and critical to participate, regardless of your immigration status.”
“The Constitution — and our future — demands that everyone in America be counted in the 2020 Census,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We won’t let anything stand in the way of a full and accurate count, and we’ll keep working with our coalition of partners to make certain that all Angelenos are ready to respond to the questionnaire.”
The 2020 Census will launch a year from April 1, 2019, the date LA County will observe its Census Call to Action. The decennial census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and is used to determine political representation and to allocate hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding to states and local jurisdictions. A Census undercount could translate to fewer federal funds for transportation infrastructure projects, economic development, and programs that help support our most vulnerable residents.
On Nov. 9, the State of California Complete Count Census 2020 Office announced LA County would receive a grant of $9.4 million to support public outreach programs in the 88 cities throughout the County so that community-based organizations and local governments could tally hard-to-count populations for the U.S. Census. Hard-to-count populations include individuals who have limited access to technology, are experiencing homelessness, or may not participate in the U.S. Census due to a language barrier.
Since 2017, the County has been working closely with the State, community organizations, and with the City of Los Angeles – the municipality with the highest number of hard-to-count residents – to increase awareness of the 2020 Census and to mitigate obstacles that may undermine an accurate count.