On Friday, state leaders came together in San Diego to meet with local leaders to coordinate outreach strategies for the 2020 census.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla, State Assemblywoman for the 80th district, Lorena Gonzalez, representatives from SANDAG and the Count Me 2020 coalition attended this meeting.
The focus is to encourage groups who are considered less likely to be involved in the census for example, children under the age of five, people without internet, and people who are not proficient in English.
“People need to know that we need to count everybody, no matter your age or documentation status,” said State Assemblywoman, Lorena Gonzalez.
Undocumented immigrants in the San Diego community are concerned participating in the census as they fear it will lead to consequences and deportation.
“They cannot use your information for any other purpose, even if you have no documentation, we need to know that you’re here. We need to make sure everyone counts whether you’re a week old or 100 years old,” said Gonzalez. “It’s important because that’s what determines the resources come into our community.”
Count Me 2020 and SANDAG received $1.56 million from the state for census outreach in City Heights, Chula Vista, National City, San Marcos, Vista, Escondido and Oceanside.
"These are areas that we already anticipate are going to be challenged, especially around technology access," said Arcela Nuñez-Alvarez from the National Latino Research Center.
Count Me 2020 has also partnered with San Diego Association of Governments to help teach people about what the census is.
By April 2020 households can be expected to receive the notice by mail. You will then have three options for responding either online, by mail, or by phone. This marks the first-time residents will be able to respond online.