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Santa Barbara County leaders urge residents to fill out 2020 Census before October deadline

SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Residents can still respond to the 2020 Census now that the deadline has been extended to the end of October.

“We are strongly encouraging everyone to respond to the Census now, and not to wait,” said Santa Maria Public Information Manager Mark van de Kamp.

The deadline was extended to Oct. 31, after a lawsuit stopped a plan to end it a month early in September.

Santa Maria City leaders are stressing the importance of filling out the census because a more accurate count brings more state and federal funding to the community.

“The math is, it’s about $2,000 per person, per year comes into each community,” said van de Kamp. “So if you miss out for one person over a decade, that’s $20,000 dollars, not coming into a community.”

Santa Maria’s overall self-response rate is 67.2%. However, there is a specific tract that has the lowest response rate of 46%. Latinx, indigenous and Hispanic people mostly live in that area; so now officials are taking action to get them to fill out the census.

“Especially to the Hispanic communities, we’re seeing that that’s where we need more responses in those communities,” said Co-chair of the Santa Barbara County Census 2020 Joni Maiden. “we are doing TV, radio and some print ads.”

The overall response rate with follow-up visits to homes in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties is up to 98.6%.

For now, the census team plans to take advantage of the extra time and reach out to more homes.

Article Topic Follows: Community

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Karen Cruz-Orduña

Karen Cruz-Orduña is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Karen, click here.


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