As the 2020 Census process gets started, we want to acknowledge the level and extent of fear that many of our communities are feeling in the run-up to this year’s census. The leadership and ability to help all of our communities’ members overcome this fear will largely fall on the shoulders of respected faith leaders. The value and dignity of every human being is at the heart of every faith tradition and ensuring every community member is counted will ensure equal representation and access. The ability of each county to organize to help alleviate this fear will also pay off in around $1,000 per person in Federal funding to our respective counties in funds to address poverty, health and human services as well as the funding for homeless services.
Communities of faith are central to the count as they comprise trusted institutions and leaders that are able to identify and convey the importance of the count to marginalized and “hard to count” residents (e.g. undocumented immigrants and the homeless). Communities of faith have a unique moral voice and will be important messengers in ensuring an accurate count in the 2020 Census.
In the linked toolkit below, you will find outreach recommendations, resources (linguistic & technological), talking points, recruitment tools, FAQs, Hard to Count information, local faith groups conducting outreach and a list public facilities and libraries where linguistic assistance, technical support and outreach for the 2020 Census will be conducted.
The 2020 Census will begin in March 2020. Census Day is April 1 , 2020. For those who don’t respond, there will be non-response follow up and outreach through the summer of 2020. The toolkit that follows is aimed to help faith leaders in the Bay Area ensure that all community members are counted in the 2020 Census. The census will determine whether local schools, roads, and hospitals in the Bay Area receive our share of federal funding and whether California is accurately represented in the House of Representatives. Additionally, the census will allow businesses to assess where to start new businesses and which communities are need of the greatest services. Emphasizing that the 2020 Census will impact federal funding to local programs, such as schools and hospitals over the next decade will be critical in ensuring a maximum response rate.
It is important to note that the 2020 Census will have an online response option. Most households will receive an invitation letter in the mail inviting them to go online to complete the census. Each questionnaire will have an individual code that can be entered when responding online. The Census Bureau is constrained by funding and manpower limits and thus it will be crucial for faith leaders to help fill the gaps in informing their community members about the upcoming 2020 Census.
It is critical to remind your community members that there will not be a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. Additionally, Title 13 of the U.S. Code requires that the U.S.C.B. keep respondents’ information confidential and guarantees that personal information cannot be used against respondents in court or by any government agency.
ICCCC is working with Contra Costa Census 2020 by encouraging members of our congregations to volunteer to encourage every resident of the county to participate in the Census so all of the Federal dollars due to us comes to Contra Costa for our programs, and so we can have all of the representation due to our numbers.
Special language needs! And a short term employment opportunity!
Contra Costa needs help reaching out to speakers of these languages to be complete in our outreach and ICCCC will receive some money we can pay contractors willing to help us do outreach in the following communities:
- Tagalong (Philippines)
- Farsi (Iran)
If you or a member of your congregation is bilingual in any of these languages or are willing to work under contract through the Interfaith Council to get out the word to these language speakers in the various faith communities in the county, please contact Rev. Will McGarvey, Exec. Director of ICCC at 925.933.6030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on working or volunteering to help get out a full Census participation in the county, please come to one of our initial Informational Meetings! More trainings for faith leaders and volunteers to be offered in East, Central and West county at a later date.
- Saturday, March 7th from 11:00 am to noon at Hillcrest UCC, 404 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill, CA in Room 16 (education wing). (RSVP to email@example.com)
Contra Costa needs volunteers to help staff Questionnaire Assistance Kiosks (QAK) in homeless service sites in Contra Costa in April to help ensure that people in our community experiencing homelessness are counted in the 2020 Census!
WHAT IS A QAK?
QAKs are physical locations where the people can access a computer to complete their Census questionnaire online or complete it by phone.
WHAT WILL VOLUNTEERS DO?
QAK volunteers will be stationed at homeless service sites/events with a laptop computer to encourage people to fill out the form, give out incentives when someone completes their form and direct people to more information about the Census. Volunteers will receive training on how to complete these activities.
WHEN IS THIS HAPPENING?
QAK shifts (typically 2-4 hours) will be available in multiple parts of the county and during daytime, evening and weekend hours in the month of April.
WHAT IS THE CENSUS AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
The Census determines the number of Representatives each state has in Congress and possible redraws of district boundaries. Census data is used to distribute billions of dollars in Federal and State funding, including funding for homeless services. Being counted brings those resources, including funding for homeless services, back to your community.
The Census form includes ten questions about each person’s age, gender, race, and relationship to the person filling out the form. It should take about 10 minutes to fill out, more if there are more people living in the same household.
In 2020, you will be able to fill out the census form online, over the phone, by paper, or in person.
All data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau is confidential and may not be turned over to any other government agency including immigration enforcement or even the President. There will NOT be any questions about citizenship.
WILL I GET TRAINED? Yes, all volunteers will need to complete a short (30 minute) training before their shift.
To sign up to volunteer, click here: https://signup.com/go/sKEhXkW
- Callers to the English and Spanish language lines will be routed through the Interactive Voice Response system prior to being transferred to a customer service representative.
- Callers to all other language lines will be greeted in that language by a customer service representative.
English and Spanish flyers to print for congregational bulletins.
Getting the word out! More information on becoming a Census Ambasador and hosting a Census Sabbath.
April 1, 2020, “Census Day” is just around the corner!
The 2020 Census is an issue that impacts us all. Faith leaders have a unique position and voice to help people understand the importance of responding to the census, both for their families and community.
There are many ways you, as a trusted messenger, can spread the word about Census 2020 within your congregation and beyond:
- Become a Census Ambassador at www.cococensus.org to share that the Census is Important, Safe, and Easy.
- Attend upcoming Census Kickoff & Training Workshops (learn more at www.cococensus.org) to get the tools you need to be a knowledgeable trusted messenger.
- Spread the word about Census 2020:
- Distribute flyers and bulletin inserts.
- Host a Census Sabbath.
- Integrate the Census through preaching about the dignity of all people, the importance of being counted and what is at stake for your community.
- Share the Census 2020 message in your newsletters, social media, blogs or podcasts, in your mailing and on your website.
- Find outreach toolkits and resources to assist you in spreading the word athttps://www.contracosta.ca.gov/7612/Resources. Census materials are available in 12 non-English languages, including Non-Simplied Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese and Tagalog, and language guides and glossaries are available in 59 non- English languages.
- Invite a Contra Costa County or Census Bureau Speaker to give a presentation at one of your existing events.
- Help get the word out about U.S. Census Bureau jobs https://2020census.gov/en/jobs
- Encourage everyone to complete the Census as soon as they receive their invitationbetween mid-March and April 1, 2020.Our community benefits from everyone being counted, and we have one chance in a decade to get it right. Thank you for stepping up to ensure that every person is counted.
Questions? Ideas? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org