Sign encouraging census participation
A sign encouraging residents to participate in the 2020 census hangs from the Alameda County Courthouse in Oakland. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

Our community and country are facing unprecedented challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis, and racial justice movement all coming to a head at once. We must, as a community, come together to address these crises collectively in many different ways. Most importantly, we have learned how critically important our essential workers, health care professionals, teachers, first responders, and community leaders are to us in this fight.

As I work to bring more federal resources to help our community address these challenges, it’s important to note that a lot of the federal aid we receive is based on the official Census, which is currently underway.

As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, everyone living in the United States is to be counted every ten years. The Census isn’t simply about taking a head count to determine our state’s representation in Congress; it affects so much more in our Congressional district.

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With an accurate community response, the 2020 Census will distribute billions of dollars of federal resources to local schools, hospitals, first responders, cities, roads and more to help us better serve you. The results will also inform how much federal funding will be allocated into programs like Medicaid, Head Start, and SNAP, which are essential to help the most vulnerable families in our region.

Mike Levin
Mike Levin

We have seen how important these programs and institutions are in fighting the pandemic, keeping our economy afloat, and ultimately, helping us all function as a community, so it’s critical that we respond to the Census now and get our fair share of federal aid.

During this public health crisis, there are several ways you can respond to the 2020 Census without leaving your home. You can complete the Census online at, call the Census Bureau at 844-330-2020, or mail in the Census forms that you may have received in the mail.

I also want to give a friendly reminder that the U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to keep all of your reported information confidential. At the same time, while the Census itself is safe and secure, it is important to make sure you protect yourself against Census-related scams and opportunities for identity theft.

If you have any questions or need more information about how to complete your 2020 Census, please visit my website at, or reach out to my office. We cannot let this pandemic and economic crisis prevent our community from responding to the Census and receiving the federal aid we deserve. Make sure you and your neighbors are counted!

Rep. Mike Levin represents north coastal San Diego and south Orange counties in Congress.