Why should we care now? We are only one year away from the census and a recent U.S. Census Bureau survey revealed that only seven in 10 people were likely to respond. If this estimate becomes reality in Santa Clara County, we will lose out on over $1 billion annually, or $10 billion until the next census. We have a lot of work to do in the next year to ensure our neighbors, friends and community members participate in the census questionnaire, which will be entirely online for the first time.
The California Legislature has also made the 2020 census a priority by creating the Assembly Select Committee on the Census and the Senate Select Committee on the 2020 United States Census. Our very own Assemblyman Marc Berman, 24th District, chairs the Assembly Select Committee on the Census and we are grateful to have his advocacy and insight in ensuring Santa Clara County will get counted.
How can you help? Kickoff events are happening across the state, including in our city next Tuesday, April 2, at 6:30 p.m. The City Council will recognize the census at our meeting. You can help by spreading the word to friends or volunteering with a community-based organization. The most important thing we can all do is build awareness about the census and stress the importance of participation. There is also information at census.ca.gov.
You count, I count, Mountain View counts.
Ellen Kamei is a Mountain View City Council member and a member of the Santa Clara County Complete Count Steering Committee.
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