Don’t Count Out 2020 Census Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
The pandemic has forced the U.S. Census Bureau to adjust its promotion plans for participation. Southern California Edison, meanwhile, continues to stress the importance of the 2020 census and encourages everyone to fill out the form online, by phone or by completing the census mailer at home.
The U.S. Census Bureau states: “We’re adapting or delaying some of our operations to protect the health and safety of our staff and the public and make sure we get the same population counted another way.”
“The challenge to ensure a complete count has become more daunting with COVID-19 hindering field operations,” said Caroline Choi, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs for Edison International and SCE. “We encourage everyone to complete the census form because that information determines funding and political representation for the communities and neighborhoods SCE serves for the next decade.”
To date, California’s response rate (46.6%) tracks with the national response rate (46.7%). This is far below the state’s 2010 response rate of 68.2%, a significant undercount at the time. Continuing the large undercount in SCE’s service area would hurt important federal funding based on the census data — funds allocated to hospitals, public safety agencies, schools, public transportation, energy programs and other essential services in the state.
Before the COVID-19 crisis, in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, SCE conducted community outreach across its 50,000-square-mile service area, one of the most diverse regions in the U.S., to ensure representation for all its customers. Special attention has been focused on reaching hard-to-count and vulnerable populations often from low-income and underrepresented communities.
SCE’s employee resource group LEAD (Latinos for Engagement, Advancement & Development) has partnered with the Long Beach Complete Count Committee to encourage a complete census count in Latino communities. The employee group is teaming up with the city of Long Beach and nonprofits Centro CHA, Inc. and Long Beach Forward to organize a 2020 census outreach “block party” sometime in July or August.
When filling out the census survey, everyone who lives under the same roof most of the time should be counted on the same form, even if they are not related. However, count each person only once. You do not need the code on the census mailer to fill out the form; you just need your address to complete the census form online.
Remember, the census information collected cannot be publicly released by the U.S. Census Bureau in any way or used against you or anyone in your household, and by law, it cannot be shared with any other government or law enforcement agency.
U.S. Census Bureau Update
- The U.S. Census Bureau has suspended all field operations. Due to COVID-19, all field operations, including mobile questionnaire assistance stations and in-person nonresponse follow-ups, have been postponed until further notice.
- Anyone knocking on your door claiming to be a U.S. Census Bureau representative is a fraud. Notify your local law enforcement agency immediately if this occurs.
- The COVID-19 stimulus check is not tied to filling out the census form. There have been rumors that the government will use census data to disburse COVID-19 stimulus checks. This is NOT true. Read the statement from the U.S. Census Bureau.