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An accurate Census count is vital to Los Angeles County

Make sure you are included

Lisa Fitch OW Contributor | 11/8/2019, midnight

If your community needs another hospital, school or grocery store, you need to answer the 2020 Census questionnaire. Your community is due its fair share of the $675 billion in federal funds at stake and the constitutionally required census helps divide the pie more evenly.

Communities benefit the most when the census counts everyone. 

“The Census is vital to ensuring that our democracy works for all -- not some,” said Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43) in a recent statement. “The population data collected is used to determine the number of Congressional districts that are drawn in each sate, the number of Electoral College votes that are distributed in each presidential election and the amount of funding that is allocated to each state to pay for programs like Medicaid, school lunches, special education and highway construction.”

Completing the census is required. Every 10 years the US Census Bureau attempts to count every resident in the country. Federal law protects census responses. Answers can only be used to produce statistics. Information cannot be shared with immigration enforcement agencies, law enforcement agencies or be allowed to determine eligibility for government benefits.

When Black communities are undercounted, political boundaries may not accurately represent a true picture; federal funding could be impacted; programs to alleviate poverty are under-funded; schools, hospitals and voting rights are affected.

Based on previous statistics published by the Leadership Conference Education Fund, African- Americans have historically been undercounted in the decennial census. The 2010 census undercounted the Black population by more than 800,000 persons.

Census day is April 1, 2020 and as a census supporter, Our Weekly will feature stories surrounding the 2020 Census to ensure readers know the importance of an accurate count.