Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council
Census Submission Deadline is Oct. 31, 2020Posted on 08/05/20
Here's an update from Council District 7 - Eve Sinclair
Hello, everyone. I wanted to reach out to you to help increase our rates of completion of the 2020 Census count in our community. This population count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. Each home received an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail—between March 12-20. The questionnaire only takes about 10 minutes to complete and is one of the single most important things you can do to help improve the community you live in.
The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. 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, through more than 100 programs, including school lunches, highway construction, education, Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location.
Think of your morning commute: Census results influence highway planning and construction, as well as grants for buses, subways, and other public transit systems. Or think of your local schools: Census results help determine how money is allocated for the Head Start program and for grants that support teachers and special education. The list goes on, including programs to support rural areas, to restore wildlife, to prevent child abuse, to prepare for wildfires, and to provide housing assistance for older adults. When you respond to the census, you help your community gets its fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs. To put it more clearly, each person that remains uncounted in the Census means nearly $2000 less in funding to come into our community.
The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts. It's also in the Constitution: Article 1, Section 2, mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.
One of the questions I hear a good deal in my work for the Council office is "Why doesn't my community look as nice as ____?" If you look on the current Census Response Rate Map, you can see that many of the census tracts in our area are hovering only between the 50-60% response rate, with some tracts not even reaching the 50% level. This means that we are nowhere near counting our complete population and will be missing out on the additional funding that would be allocated to our community. In addition, the deadline to complete the Census has now been changed again, and the new deadline to submit the form has been moved up to 9/30/2020.
Help us to spread the word about the importance of taking just a few minutes to complete the census, which can be mailed, completed over the phone, or submitted online. The 2020 Census is more than just a population count. It's an opportunity to shape your community's future. Through your social media channels and other networks, your voice can make a difference. Help us get out the word to all of our community members between now and September 30. It couldn't be more urgent. Thank you, as always, and stay safe.
Eve Sinclair, Area Director
Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, 7th District
13520 Van Nuys Blvd. Suite 209, Pacoima, CA 91331
Phone: 818-485-0600 Fax: 818-896-9250