Board of Supervisors Approves Unprecedented $1 Million Investment

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Will be Used for First Phase of Santa Clara County’s 2020 Census Effort


SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA — On Tuesday March 6th, the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors approved an unprecedented $1 million to launch the 2018 Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) effort, one of the most significant opportunities for the County of Santa Clara to ensure that every county household is on the Census Bureau’s address list to be officially counted. This is the first phase of the County’s multi-year campaign to “get out the count” for the 2020 Census.  

“Getting accurate 2020 Census numbers is critical in a county this diverse and large.  Everyone has a right to be counted, so we can be fairly represented in Congress and receive the federal funding we need for housing and transportation projects,” said Supervisor Cindy Chavez. 

The County has until June 30, 2018 to complete this first phase of work. The funding will support data gathering, research, local partnerships, canvassing and community engagement to identify households that are not in the Census’s current address list.  Such households are often found in communities that are undercounted in the Census, including the county’s large populations of immigrants, people of color, young children, single parents, low-income families, large or overcrowded households, and those living in low-visibility housing such as cottages, basements, converted garages and recreational vehicles.  By adding missing addresses to the Census Bureau’s address list, the County can ensure that more households have the opportunity to be counted when the Census Bureau carries out its process for counting residents in early 2020. 

The funding and census plan to address the Census 2020 challenges were initiated by a board referral co-authored by Supervisors Cindy Chavez and Ken Yeager. 

“We are concerned that the Trump Administration will try and punish California by not allocating enough resources for Census 2020 to ensure an accurate count in diverse areas such as Santa Clara County,” said Supervisor Ken Yeager. “The 2020s will be full of challenges, and we will need the strongest voices possible in Washington and Sacramento. That means having all of our residents counted.” 

The federal government has indicated that, despite a significant change in methodology and other factors that make undercounts even more likely in 2020, it will not spend more than it spent on the 2010 Census. 

“Not only is the 2020 Census underfunded by the federal government,” said Supervisor Dave Cortese, “but the atmosphere of fear created by aggressive immigration tactics under the Trump Administration may have a chilling effect on our diverse communities responding to the Census. We need this investment in our Census efforts for our community to be counted accurately and allocated the federal funding to which it is entitled.”

Each year, the federal government invests nearly $2,000 per Californian based on census data. Political representation also turns on the decennial census; congressional seats are allocated based on census data, and state and local governments use census data to draw political district boundaries.

“The only way we can ensure that the County fairly benefits from federal funding is by making sure that everyone is counted in Census 2020,” said Supervisor Mike Wasserman. “We will have better chances of receiving funding to support essential services such as healthcare, law enforcement and transportation infrastructure that will benefit every individual and family in our community.”