Starting in March, households across San Diego will begin receiving invitations to participate in the 2020 Census.

This marks an important milestone in our region’s history as the total number of participants will impact our communities and the growth of San Diego County for the next 10 years.

Every 10 years, the U.S. government conducts the Census to determine how government representation will be apportioned and how much funding to allocate for more than 130 federal programs, including Highway Planning and Construction, Medicaid and Head Start. The number of San Diegans counted will determine how much of the available $1.5 trillion in federal funding is spent right here in our communities.

Local leaders also use the data to make strategic decisions and investments in our schools, hospitals, roads and other important programs that support local families.

That’s why your participation matters.

Local Collaboration

Historically, important “hard-to-count” communities such as immigrants, young children, and urban and rural low-income households have gone uncounted in the census, particularly in diverse regions like San Diego.

Experts estimate that as many as 780,000 residents fall into these categories and if left uncounted, critical programs and projects may be underfunded for an entire decade. 

In response, dozens of community organizations and agencies have joined together to educate the San Diegans, train Census workers and fund outreach ahead of this year’s count.

The San Diego Foundation is part of Count Me 2020, a coalition of more than 150 community-based organizations led by United Way of San Diego County, that is focused on reaching, educating, motivating and activating individuals who are traditionally excluded and undercounted. Together, the coalition is hosting workshops, spearheading outreaching, and distributing grants through the San Diego Grantmakers Count Me 2020 Census Fund as part of the coordinated Count Me 2020 efforts. In addition, the San Diego Association of Governments is overseeing distribution of $1.5 million of state funds to ensure that no San Diegan is left uncounted.

What You Should Know

This month, 1.8 million voters in San Diego received information about the Census in their preferred language as part of the sample ballots that were mailed for the March 3 election.

In addition, educational information has been placed at kiosks in each of San Diego’s 33 libraries and will be provided at key social service locations such as family resource centers.

For the first time in its history, this year’s Census will be largely conducted online.

Census forms will be in the mail in March and recipients will be directed to go online to fill out the information.

But don’t worry if you miss the mailing or think it got lost in transit. That won’t be the only time you hear about Census 2020.

Over the coming months, Census workers will be visiting communities and knocking on doors to help residents fill out the information in person.

In addition, if you have any questions, many San Diego communities are setting up Census hubs to assist residents throughout the process .

With so much at stake for San Diego County, we need to ensure an accurate census. Encourage your friends and neighbors to participate in Census 2020.

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