Report Highlights Dire Costs of a Census Undercount for the 2nd District of California
September 25, 2020
San Rafael, CA – On Wednesday, Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) hosted a special Facebook Live to announce the findings of a new Congressional report that details how a complete Census count will impact critical funding and services in the second congressional district, including funding for schools and job training in Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, and Del Norte Counties. Rep. Huffman was joined by Connie Stewart, the Executive Director of Initiatives at Humboldt State and until just recently she was the Complete Count Committee lead in Humboldt.
Data collected by the Census is used to determine how much funding every community in the U.S. receives for critical services like education, medical care, foster care, roads, public transit, and job programs. Census data also helps local governments enhance public safety and prepare for emergencies.
The new report details that if there is just a 1% undercount in the 2020 Census, the residents of the 2nd Congressional District of California could lose:
- $183,000 in federal funding for schools that have a high proportion of low-income students, or the equivalent of all the textbooks that 730 students would need in a school year.
- $165,000 in federal funding for job training centers and career counseling.
California’s second district has about 13,000 low-income students who would be significantly impacted by this underfunding. The district also has about 89,000 people of working age under the federal poverty level, and the district saw about $4.3 million in federal funding for worker assistance. A Census undercount jeopardizes that important support.
Click here to read the full report.
Rep Huffman urged his constituents to complete the Census by going online at https://2020census.gov/, calling 844-330-2020, or filling out the forms they received in the mail. The 2020 Census has only 12 questions and does not ask about citizenship.
Representative Huffman has joined several of his colleagues this year in legislation to ensure a fair and accurate count of the Census, including:
- Leading a letter to Tribal Affairs Coordinator for the U.S. Census Bureau Dee Alexander ensuring that tribal members be counted in the Census, despite having been told they might need to redo their online form because they lacked a unique census ID. Ms. Alexander guaranteed to Congressman Huffman that despite preferring that tribal members refill out the census to make geolocating easier, everyone who had already filled out the census would be counted.
- No Funds for Apportionment Exclusion Act, led by Representative Meng, which bans implementation of the President’s memorandum on the counting of the U.S. Census that would exclude immigrants in the country illegally.
- The 2020 Census IDEA Act, led by Rep. Maloney, which ensures the citizenship question is not included in the next Census by prohibiting last minute operational changes to the decennial Census that have not been thoroughly researched and tested for a period of at least 3 years prior to Census Day. The bill also enhances congressional oversight of the Census and requires GAO to certify that subjects, types of information, and questions on the decennial Census have been sufficiently researched and tested before the questionnaire can be printed.
- A letter to the Census Bureau ensuring an accurate count during the pandemic, led by Rep. Trone. This letter asked the Census Bureau to provide a plan to ensure an accurate count in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter asks specifically whether the Census Bureau has the necessary resources to increase the percentage of Americans who self-report without an interaction from an enumerator due to the pandemic.
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