As you know the federal government relies on census data to determine the number of congressional seats each state is entitled to.  Current population estimates suggest that for the first time in its 159 year history, California could lose a congressional seat. 

Equally important to counties, Washington uses the census data to allocate billions of dollars in funding for health and human services programs, education, and infrastructures projects.  It is estimated that for every person counted, $1000 in federal money is allocated. 

A complete and accurate count is critical to ensuring California gets its fair share of funding.  California counties need to take the lead in their communities to ensure a complete and accurate count.

The 2010 census is fast approaching and National Census Day is April 1, 2010.  In an effort to aid census outreach efforts, the California Complete Count Committee, appointed by the Governor, announced on December 23, 2009 the availability of $1 million to fund County Complete Count Committees in the top 13 hardest to count counties. 

Hard to count refers to people and communities shown to be most at risk of being missed in the census; California is home to 10 of the 50 hardest to count counties in the country.  Full text of the announcement here.

The top 13 hard to count counties were ranked based on their share of the Census 2000 undercount, the counties identified are:  Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Alameda, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Fresno, San Francisco, Kern, Contra Costa, and San Joaquin.  The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) will contact each County Complete Count Committee.  OPR staff will review the outreach plans submitted by each county and allocate funds in early 2010.

CSAC is represented on the state’s California Complete Count Committee and is committed to spreading the census message: Be Californian, Be Counted.   The 2010 census will be one of the shortest in history: just 10 questions that will take only 10 minutes to complete.  All responses are confidential.  Please take a moment to review additional information on the Web site here.

Paul McIntosh
Executive Director
California State Association of Counties