Be Counted- Y Branches reach out to help communities complete The Census
Now is the time to reassure communities of their power in completing the Census count. This is a challenging Census because of multiple reasons; limited language access on the Census, limited access to a computer and/or the internet, concerns about confidentiality, and even more issues arising from Shelter-In-Place laws and COVID-19. Right now, communities have many concerns about the Census and need reassurances of how this form will protect them, not harm them. To make matters worse, the response rate for San Francisco is low compared to other Bay Area counties at around 54%
This is a critical time to be counted as a resident in the San Francisco Bay Area. Census data determines how many elected leaders our community will have to represent our concerns on issues that affect our lives, such as housing, jobs, or immigration reform. Calculating how many people are within a community gives the government a clear understanding of what resources to provide. Without this clarity, an under-count may mean that California loses a seat in Congress. For example, California lost $2 billion in federal dollars and a Congressional seat when there was an under-count in 1990. When considering all the financial and health effects of COVID-19, this year’s Census is a detrimental to ensure government assistance.
Responding to the Census maximizes critical resources for our families and communities. Census data determines funding for services that impact the well-being of immigrants and communities of color. These services and programs include: MediCal, SSI, K-12 education, the school lunch program, CalFresh, preschools, housing, and infrastructure such as roads and public transit. There are many grants and government resources many of our Y programs use for services like food pantry, childcare, and social welfare services. Government funding is allocated annually for critical public services, and non-profits rely on this funding as much as the community relies on the service.
Here’s the deal, filling out the Census is easy, safe, and fast. There are a few questions, and for the first time, we can take part in the Census 2020 online. It is our civic duty and right to participate in the Census. Participation allows us to claim our democracy. The Census ensures that all communities, especially communities of color, have the political space to voice their needs, whether through resources or protections.
Let the Y Help you
The Y is here to assist and encourage communities to complete the 2020 Census. Our Service Connectors will help you fill out the form online. Chinatown and Urban Services YMCA are available by phone to assist people in multiple languages. We are also available to discuss any concerns you may have about the Census. Now is the time to encourage our family and friends to complete this form. Please reach out to us. Online or by phone. All responses on the Census are confidential and cannot be shared with any law enforcement agencies. Every resident living in the United States regardless of their immigration status should complete the census as soon as possible.
Reach us at 510-936-1682 or 510-936-1662 for any guidance with filling out the 2020 Census form. This service is free of charge.