Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announces plan for 2020 Census outreach efforts. Courtesy of the supervisor’s office

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced outreach efforts Wednesday aimed at ensuring a complete count of residents in the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census.

“At the county, we are stepping up to make sure everyone is counted for the 2020 census,” Fletcher said. “The census is a critical tool of our democracy because it funds vital programs and initiatives in communities and neighborhoods throughout our region.”

At a news conference with representatives of the Count Me 2020 coalition, Fletcher unveiled census advertisements that will be printed in multiple languages and will be included with sample ballots being mailed this week to 1.8 million registered voters.

Of those voters, 140,000 will receive non-English pamphlets based on birthplaces or by request. The advertisements will be printed in Spanish, Filipino, Vietnamese and Chinese.

Fletcher also said the county has taken other steps in hopes of educating hard-to-reach populations about the census, including kiosks at the county’s 33 libraries and with the county Bookmobile, and strategically placed signs in social service locations such as Family Resource Centers. Census information will also be included with meals delivered to homebound people through county Health and Human Service Agency contractors.

San Diego County will also make space and time available to train volunteers with Count Me 2020, a coalition of more than 100 community groups that will work to ensure a complete census count.

Census data determines the number of Congressional seats as well as federal and state funding for programs such as Head Start, Foster Care, Medicaid and National School Lunch programs. According to the county, every Californian missed by the census can result in a loss to the state of about $1,950 per person per year, for 10 years, in federal program funding.

The Constitution requires that the decennial Census count every person living in the United States, whether a citizen or now. There is concern in California that the Trump administration’s efforts to deport migrants will make many people fearful of answering Census questions and thus undercount the state’s population.

— From Staff and Wire Reports

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.