Alameda County Allocates $1.5 Million Investment In Outreach Funding For Census 2020

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Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley speaks to audience members about the Coun¬ty’s Complete Count Committee and it’s Implementation Plan, and announcing the grantees who will be partnering in the community to promote and provide access to Census 2020. Photo courtesy of the Alameda County Complete Count Committee.
Clifford L. Williams

The U.S. Census Bureau’s task of conducting a complete count of the homeless, the disenfran­chised and the hard-to-reach population, which constantly relocates, has become a chal­lenge for the Bureau with its goal of an accurate count dur­ing the Census 2020.

That task in Alameda Coun­ty is receiving some assis­tance from the County Board of Supervisors, who in 2018, established a Complete Count Committee (CCC) and recently awarded $1.5 million for Cen­sus Outreach Grants.

“Due to the significant re­duction in federal resources for the U.S. Census Bureau to con­duct this decennial count of ev­ery person living in the United States, the County deemed this local investment imperative in order to attain a complete and accurate count,” said Casey Farmer, executive director of the CCC.

“The Alameda CCC will in­vest in ‘trusted messengers’ of hard-to-count communities to convey the importance of com­pleting the Census with grants to 115 agencies. These agen­cies include community-based organizations, health clinics, educational institutions, and houses of worship.”

The CCC is a regional, cross-sector stakeholder working to maximize partici­pation in Census 2020. It will communicate to the public the importance of the Census and provide community partners with information, data, train­ing, materials, and technical assistance for their direct out­reach.

“As required by the Consti­tution, the Census’ objective is to count every single person in the country,” Farmer said. “The Census Bureau will con­duct major enumerations op­erations at shelters and soup kitchens as well as encamp­ments. Alameda County will provide the Bureau with a list of homeless advocates to support the outreach encamp­ment, using messengers from these encampments to assist in the count.”

The CCC convened an Unhoused Subcommittee of key stakeholders including the East Oakland Collective, EveryOne Home, and Saint Mary’s Center, who are col­lectively advocating that the U.S Census Bureau’s outreach be comprehensive and ensure dignity and sensitivity towards this vulnerable population.

“We also have a number of immigrant communities that feel attacked by the Trump administration and we want to galvanize support from those communities through outreach led by nonprofits and churches,” said Farmer. “Our outreach efforts will include multi-lingual educational workshops, Questionnaire Assistance Centers at all pub­lic libraries, Census Weeks at schools, colleges, and more.”

Ultimately, the Census data will be used to allocate approx­imately $800 billion dollar

s in federal funding as well as to determine each State’s rep­resentation in Congress. The 2020 Census can be completed online, by phone, and via a pa­per form.

To learn more about the CCC, please visit: http://ac­gov.org/census2020/ or con­tact Casey Farmer, Executive Director, Alameda County Complete Count Committee at [email protected].

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