Written by Maria O. Alvarez, member of the SF Latina Giving Circle
The 2020 Census is here. You should be receiving an invitation letter in the mail by now. I’ve been learning through both personal and professional networks, more and more about what it means to be counted, and why we all have to fill out the questionnaire as soon as you can and encourage others in your community to do the same.
Each single person that lives in your household needs to be counted… and yes, that includes the newborn. For both professional and personal reasons, I’m usually inclined to look for the kids and families’ angles into the issues and campaigns I decide to support. As a mom of two boys, 8 and 13, you may say it’s my maternal instinct, but it’s way more than that. It’s also what I live and breathe through my work at Common Sense. In a recent work-related meeting, the Partnership for Americas’ Children along with other organizations that are leading the Census were sharing some interesting data points:
• Approximately 2 million kids 0-5 were not counted in the last census
• 72% of California’s populations fall into a hard-to-count category.
All kids including newborns must be counted! If those little ones aren’t counted this year, it’ll bring lots of challenges in a few years. For instance, if they are missed, the schools in their communities won’t have the resources needed to educate them. Crowded classrooms that are not ideal for learning are in-part a consequence of inaccurate counts. Additionally, census data is used to determine funding for head start programs, grants for special education and teacher support.
Latinos are young and they make up the largest racial group in California. Our kids are more than 50% of students in public schools. Latinos are the present and the future of California – and its growth. I encourage you to talk to your relatives, friends, neighbors. Ask them to make sure they fill out the questionnaire which only takes 10 minutes. This year for the first time there will be an online link, in addition to the paper and phone options that offer multilingual support.
Talk with your family, then mention it to your relatives, friends, and people in your different networks – Let’s make sure we all get counted!
For more info visit: latinocf.org/2020-census/