We Count L.A.

Man and his two daughters pose outsideStarting in March 2020, every single Angeleno will have the chance to show the nation that we count.

Data from the U.S. Census, taken every 10 years, plays a tremendous role in almost every aspect of our lives, driving more than 80 percent of California’s federal funding. The future of our schools, hospitals, childcare centers, public transit and government services depend on full participation.

The 2020 Census offers challenges we’ve never seen. A new dependence on online submission, coupled with a Census Bureau that is underfunded, lacking senior leadership and already behind schedule, threatens our ability to get an accurate count.

L.A. County has been deemed the hardest-to-count region in the nation. Our population is larger than 42 states, with more than half our residents at risk of low response. The Census also defines our federal representation, meaning undercounts make it harder to get our voices heard and access dollars for L.A.

More than 80% of California’s federal funding is driven by the Census: Basic Needs - 11%, Education - 6%, Transportation - 4%, 5% - Housing - 5%, Health = 59%We believe every Angeleno needs to be counted. CCF has spent two years preparing, bringing together government, funders and nonprofits to pool efforts and resources and ensure L.A. residents participate. We’re leading efforts to raise $20 million to encourage participation among hard-to-count communities through outreach, training and community education.

The effort is already showing fruit. Earlier this year, the State of California recognized our leadership and ability to advance social change and strengthen through collaboration by awarding $8.4 million to CCF to support Census outreach across the region. Over the next 16 months, we’ll work with public, private, nonprofit and philanthropic partners to increase the pool of resources and support effective programs that reach the region’s hard-to-count communities.

The Census is a cornerstone of our democracy and our most fundamental exercise in inclusion. All eyes are on how the nation’s most diverse and populous region responds. Our role as leader and steward of these funds bears great responsibility. We invite you to join us as we work to ensure a fair and accurate count of our communities.

To learn how to get involved in CCF’s work on the 2020 Census, contact Celina Santiago at csantiago@calfund.org or visit calfund.org/census

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