Census Day forges ahead, despite coronavirus challenges

Logo courtesy of the Santa Clara County website.

Communities across the county are making a concerted push for Americans to complete their 2020 Census forms, despite novel coronavirus hanging over the effort.

Closer to home, Santa Clara County notes that the count is essential for helping leaders make decisions on the community’s future.

The County’s Census-specific website highlights four key areas where accurate Census counts play a major role. Affordable housing – demonstrating need and competing for funds; public safety – ensuring there are enough first responders in each area; schools – understanding where demand and programs are needed; health care – directing funds to communities in need, closer to where they live.

In 2018, Santa Clara County’s Board of Supervisors approved $1 million to support the Local Update of Census Addresses effort. That helped identify a number of addresses that might not be on the Census list, including garages, ADUs, RVs, and other low-visibility housing units.

Santa Clara has a large number of traditionally hard to reach populations, including “include immigrants, non-English speakers or non-fluent English speakers, the LGBTQ+ community, multi-generational households, crowded households, unhoused/unstably housed, and people with lack of access to reliable broadband.”

The City of Cupertino highlighted Census Day on their Twitter account Wednesday.

Why is the Census necessary?

The decennial outreach, part of the Constitutionally required count of people living in the country, is critical to federal resource allocation. April 1 is Census Day, with the Bureau calling on as many Americans as possible to fill their survey online.

“The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location,” the Census Bureau says on its website.

As of Tuesday, nearly 46% of County residents had already filled out their Census forms. Most residents received a notice from the Census in early March, with follow up postcards ongoing. Eventually, in-person visits may be necessary. Census administrators hope to avoid that as much as possible given the ongoing pandemic.

To fill out your Census and be counted, visit My2020Census.gov.