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June 17 marks kickoff to Census Action Week

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - California could face years of financial hardships on top of the COVID-related economic crisis if the 2020 Census count is incomplete.

June 17 kicks off Census Action Week

It is estimated that for every person uncounted, the state will lose $1,000 dollars for ten years -- totaling $10,000 dollars in critical community funds for every Californian who doesn't complete the Census.

So, starting June 17, California is launching a mid-week Census Action Week campaign urging all residents to participate.

You might not realize that California is the hardest-to-count state in the nation and has been undercounted in every Census since the very first enumeration in 1790. The state faces several unique challenges which include, but are not limited to:

*The diversity of the population *Population and geographic size of the state *Distrust of the federal government

As COVID restrictions begin to ease in the Golden State, residents can expect to see hundreds of Census advocates, statewide, knocking on doors, organizing webinars and virtual events, among other outreach engagement measures, in an effort to galvanize people to participate.

As of mid-June, thousands in California have not yet completed the forms which could lead to huge problems when it comes to securing critical funding for so many much needed programs. COVID-related delays are part of the reason; the deadline to respond has been delayed until August 14 and could be extended to October 31, pending an Act of Congress. 

The nine question census survey is simple and confidential. Responding to the census helps secure billions of dollars for programs in California's communities, including health care and emergency services critical for responding to crises like COVID-19. Some key programs funded include Head Start, child nutrition programs, community healthcare centers, mental health programs, roads and parks.

This year's census is all the more crucial given the uncertainties Californians face today amid the COVID pandemic and calls for social change and civic engagement. 

To complete the 2020 Census form or for more information, click the following link:

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Beth Farnsworth

Beth Farnsworth is the evening anchor for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about Beth, click here


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