How First 5 Contra Costa and its partners are helping to lead the way towards a complete count for the 2020 Census.
With thousands of residents staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that the shelter-in-place guidelines have impacted Census outreach activities. First 5 Contra Costa and its partners have had to shift community census events and in-person canvassing to social media, digital media, and phone banking.
Although Contra Costa is self-responding at a higher percentage than the California average (57.3% compared to 49.2% as of 4/13/2020), there is plenty of work still to be done. With undercounted populations continuing to face challenges in responding to the Census, including lack of internet access, misinformation, and fear or distrust in the government (through privacy concerns and actions targeting immigrant families), an undercount in 2020 could cost Contra Costa County between $500 million and $11 billion over 10 years in federal programs.
Census Timeline Extended: online, phone, and mailed self-responses continue until October 31, 2020.
First 5 Contra Costa and its partners have been focusing on reaching families with children—as children ages 0-5 are among the most likely to go uncounted in the Census, as well as renters, low-income families, immigrants, and people of color. A complete count of all communities can help secure accurate representation and needed federal funding for children and families across Contra Costa—including programs for kids, such as schools, childcare, medical care, food assistance, housing, and public transportation.
Here are 3 ways to complete the census during our current shelter-in-place guidelines.
Complete it by mail.
All residences should have received a letter mid-March, as well as a postcard with the information to fill it out. Click here for more information on how to respond by mail. If you no longer have the form, or don’t recall receiving one, you can still complete the census online or over the phone. See below.
Complete it online.
If you have access to the internet or wifi, you can complete your Census online through your computer, tablet, or phone. Click here for more information no how to respond online. Just remember that once you start, you are not able to save your progress and must complete it in one session, or start over at another time.
Complete it over the phone.
The 2020 Census can be completed over the phone by calling 844-330-2020. You can also call the number associated with your preferred language, such as Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and other languages below. Non-English and Non-Spanish Language Hours of Operation are available Monday through Friday from 8am to 10 pm Eastern Time. Click here for support in multiple languages.
Complete the Census Today
Click here to complete the census, or to learn more about the process.
Click here to learn more about the Census and activities for families in Contra Costa County.
Click here to learn more about Census from the NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.
Other things to know:
- Who do you count? Count Everyone Living With You.
- There are only 9 questions on the census, you can view them here.
- Does the Census ask about Citizenship status? The Answer is NO, and here are other untrue rumors.
- Census results affect your community every day.
Two parent advocacy groups—the East County Regional Group and the Central County Regional Group, both sponsored by First 5 Contra Costa— are hosting Census Family Fair events focused on a complete count of all children to secure needed federal funding and accurate representation for children and families across Contra Costa.
An undercount in the 2020 Census could cost Contra Costa County between $500 million and $1.1 billion over 10 years in federal programs, including programs for kids such as education, childcare, medical care, food assistance, housing, and public transportation.
“It is critical that everyone in underrepresented neighborhoods are counted for the 2020 Census. Being counted means more money into our communities for needed programs, as well as more equitable political representation for low-income families and families of color”, said Rhea Elina Laughlin, Program Officer with First 5 Contra Costa.
The well-being of all families in Contra Costa County is dependent upon a complete count. These fun, family-friendly events will raise awareness on the impact of an accurate count and address misinformation, fearmongering, and actions targeting underrepresented communities, especially immigrant families and families of color.
With a focus on undercounted communities and to address some of the challenges in responding to the Census (including internet access and privacy concerns), there will be census experts, community resources, and trusted community partners available to answer any questions and to assist with the process.
“A lot of people don’t know about the census or worry how their information will be used. We’re holding this event to help our community understand how important it is we are ALL counted”, said Chipo Washington, Chair of the East County Regional Group.
There will be two events in Contra Costa County and all services are available at no cost—kids activities will include face painting, arts and crafts, as well as music and dance.
Saturday, April 4, 2020
11am – 1pm
2485 Willow Pass Rd., Bay Point
11am – 1pm
Ellis Lake Park
1760 Clayton Rd., Concord
Community partners at both events will include:
- La Clínica
- Contra Costa Health Services
- Family Justice Center
- First Baptist
- First 5 Centers
- Center for Human Development
- All in One