LA County Expands 2020 Census Outreach Efforts for Hard-to-Count Communities

In its continued efforts to ensure that hard-to-count populations are counted in the 2020 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 utilize nearly $9.4 million from the State of California towards an education and outreach campaign that will tap community resources to promote the 2020 Census.

“LA County is a safety net for so many of our children and families, and an accurate count of the County’s residents is vital to our ability to continue to provide services to our most underserved communities,” said Supervisor Solis. “Ten of the largest federal programs serving children distribute $160 billion a year based on Census-driven data. We want to make sure that hard-to-reach populations get counted so that we could continue to provide them these needed services. LA County will do its part to ensure that everyone is counted.”

According to California’s Census 2010 Final Report, Los Angeles County is the hardest-to-count county in the nation. The decennial census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and used to determine political representation and allocate hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding to states and local jurisdictions.

The California State Legislature has appropriated $26.5 million to fund effective local outreach campaigns in counties throughout the state. On Nov. 9, the State of California notified LA County’s Chief Executive Office that it would authorize nearly $9.4 million to support public outreach programs in the 88 cities throughout LA County so that residents 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.

In order to receive this funding, LA County must complete an opt-in letter and submit it to the State of California’s Complete Count Census 2020 Office. Today’s motion delegates authority to the County’s CEO to initiate this process and submit a Census 2020 outreach plan within 60 days of submitting the opt-in letter to the State.

The motion also directs the CEO to negotiate and execute agreements with community-based organizations that will assist with local outreach efforts. The County CEO is also directed to provide $2 million to the California Community Foundation to support local education and outreach efforts to target hard-to-count communities throughout the County.