The City of West Hollywood officially launched the City’s Census 2020 Campaign: “Be Counted West Hollywood” at its regular City Council meeting, on Tuesday, January 21st. Census 2020 will take place on April 1, 2020.
The United States Constitution mandates that a complete national population count be conducted every 10 years. The new Be Counted West Hollywood aims to mobilize community members to “be counted” by taking part in the upcoming census and to educate residents and stakeholders about the importance of participating in the census and returning the questionnaire.
“The census provides critical information,” said West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico. “A complete count will help to ensure that West Hollywood receives a fair share of federal funding and investments and, on a state level, the count will determine California’s apportionment in the U.S. House of Representatives. It’s so important that people in our community take part and be counted.”
Become an Ambassador
To ensure that every resident of the City of West Hollywood is counted during the Census 2020, the City is inviting community members to become part of the City-Census initiative as Ambassadors. Ambassadors are an essential part of the City-Census 2020 engagement campaign to ensure a complete count. Ambassadors will volunteer their time by disseminating a wealth of information across the community to ensure everyone is engaged and knowledgeable about the Census 2020. Ambassadors are encouraged to engage and inform their respective constituents and social media audiences in a way they feel most comfortable. Ambassadors must either live, do business, or have strong affiliation with the City of West Hollywood; be willing to receive information from the Census or the City and share this information with the public. Interested stakeholders are encouraged to send an email to Hernan Molina at [email protected] with your name, address, phone number, and preferred email address to be used by the City-Census initiative.
The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) in California has estimated that during the 1990 Census, California’s population was undercounted by 2.7 percent; this undercount likely resulted in California receiving at least $2 billion less in federal funds. There are, however, other impacts beyond reduced financial resources: according to the LAO, the 1990 Census undercount was severe enough that the State of California was shortchanged one Congressional seat. Census staff has projected, based on data from the 2010 Census and from regular surveys, that certain West Hollywood census tracts may have a moderately low response rate. As a community of just 1.9 square miles, the City of West Hollywood will work diligently to achieve a complete census count in Census 2020.
The City of West Hollywood provided a brief operational timeline of Census 2020:
- January 21: The U.S. Census Bureau starts counting the population in remote Alaska. The count officially begins in the rural Alaskan village of Toksook Bay.
- January 28 at 5:30 p.m. City of West Hollywood Census Ambassador Orientation online via GoToMeeting. Contact Hernan Molina at [email protected] for more information.
- March 12 to 20: Households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail.
- March 30 to April 1: The Census Bureau will count people who are experiencing homelessness over these three days. As part of this process, the Census Bureau counts people in shelters, at soup kitchens and mobile food vans, on the streets, and at non-sheltered, outdoor locations such as tent encampments.
- April 1: Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. When you respond to the census, you’ll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.
- April: Census takers will begin visiting college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers, and others who live among large groups of people. Census takers also begin conducting quality check interviews to help ensure an accurate count.
- May through July: Census takers will begin visiting homes that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted.
- December: The Census Bureau will deliver apportionment counts to the President and Congress as required by law.
- March 31, 2021: By this date, the Census Bureau will send redistricting counts to states. This information is used to redraw legislative districts based on population changes.
The City of West Hollywood has consistently supported legislation that requires the Census Bureau to count every person living in the United States, independent of their immigration or citizenship status and the City has strongly advocated for the importance of including questions about sexual orientation in order to help identify LGBTQ people and families and safeguard their rights and responsibilities.
For additional information, visit www.weho.org/census2020.