Alongside Mayor Liccardo and community leaders, everyone encouraged to fill out Census forms and be counted by the September 30th deadline
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti was joined by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo today to urge all cities to act now to ramp up participation in the 2020 Census ahead of the September 30th deadline.
The Mayors issued this clarion call to be counted alongside key partners, including actor and activist Jaime Camil; Executive Director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles (CHIRLA) Angelica Salas; and the Executive Director for the Central City Neighborhood Partners (CCNP), Margarita Gomez.
“Everybody counts, and we have just three weeks to complete a full and accurate tally of every person in our cities and nation,” said Mayor Garcetti. “What’s at stake is nothing less than fair representation in Washington D.C. and billions of dollars of investments in the health, welfare, and safety of our communities. We must answer the Trump Administration’s unprecedented obstacles to participation with action to finish our Census forms, increase response rates, and lay the groundwork for our long-term prosperity."
Currently, many large cities have response rates under 60% — well below the 66.5% national response rate achieved in the 2010 Census. The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) will work with cities to amplify the need for an accurate count. More information about the USCM Census efforts is available here.
“The U.S. Conference of Mayors is committed to making sure that there is a full, fair, and accurate count for the 2020 Census as billions in federal funds for cities are dependent on it,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “Now, more than ever, as cities are shouldering the devastating impact of COVID-19 and the economic recession left in its wake, these funds will play an even greater role in helping mayors provide essential services to their communities.”
“The Census determines the just allocation of billions of dollars of federal funding for education, housing, heath, and other critical services; there’s not a city in the nation that can afford to treat it lightly. In San Jose — and under our Constitution — everyone counts,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “I proudly stand with mayors nationwide to ensure that we reach out to every family and individual in every community to press for a complete Census.”
The Census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution to take place every ten years. Census data is used to help determine how many representatives are sent to Congress from each district and state over the next decade — and how much federal funding will return to local governments to support critical programs like education, health care, transportation, infrastructure, and more. As the country continues to confront COVID-19 and plan for a strong recovery, the Census will dictate resources received by cities to support their economic revival.
“CCNP serves the Westlake/Pico-Union area, and the demographics in this area have changed tremendously in the last 10 years,” said Margarita Alvarez Gomez, Executive Director of Central City Neighborhood Partners. “For this reason, we know how important it is to reach those communities that have historically not answered the Census due to fear. We have engaged women leaders of the community (promotoras) to work in those areas, in order to diminish some of those fears. By doing this, we hope to reach more of those hard to count communities."
Los Angeles’ Census Work
As the largest city in the hardest-to-count county in the nation, there are billions of dollars on the line with L.A.’s Census response. Yet its current response rate is 56.5%. Mayor Garcetti has made Census action a top priority across City government. In 2017, he hired his Census Director, Maria Garcia, and signed an executive directive establishing Census Liaisons in nearly every City department to coordinate with the Mayor’s Office and ensure an accurate count in Los Angeles.
His team also developed the Census Goodwill Ambassador initiative, which trained community members to become Census experts and leaders in their neighborhoods. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Census team adapted its plans to ensure safe outreach efforts, launching virtual phone banks on March 31, 2020 to safely outreach to historically undercounted communities in L.A. — to date, over 98,000 calls have been made thanks to strong partnerships with community groups. The team also increased their digital outreach, and has distributed over 345,000 census collateral materials such as flyers, door hangers, and postcards to food banks, churches, and community organizations. For more information about the City’s census work, please visit census.lacity.org.
To respond to the 2020 Census, visit my2020census.gov.