It is my privilege to be a member of the City of Pasadena’s Census 2020 Complete Count Committee. The committee’s focus is on reaching hard-to-count populations and areas, which include renters, young men, children, and members of the African American and Latino communities. Further complicating the count in 2020 is the fact that this will be the first primarily online count, which means we must consider the digital divide among lower-income populations, and various technical barriers across the board. Some of the hard-to-count populations also have reasons to distrust the census process, even though the legal protections in place to protect the collected data are strong.
Because the Census count is critical to Pasadena’s social welfare, PCF is granting $20,000 to the City’s Complete Count effort.
Why is it so critical? Well, there is a lot on the line for Pasadena:
- Census data is used to allocate approximately $2,000 of federal funding per person, per year, over the 10-year census period. That equals a total of $20,000 of funding lost for EACH lost for each uncounted Pasadena resident.
- An uncounted family of five equals a loss of $100,000 in funding for services including public education, infrastructure improvement and repair, social services, and more.
- $106 billion in total – A FULL THIRD of California’s state budget – is the direct result of Census counts.
- For Pasadena, this means millions of dollars in social services and affordable housing among other programs.
Among many other projects, $6 million of money allocated by Census data went to the renovation of the beautiful Robinson Park Recreation Center. Census data allocations also funded youth empowerment programs for girls at the YWCA and free swim lessons at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center.
I urge all of you in a position to do so to think about how you as an individual or organization can help make sure that there is a complete count in Pasadena. Visit cityofpasadena.net/census for more information and follow #PasadenaCounts on social media for announcements and updates. Thank you!