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Census Advocates Going Door-To-Door Say Their Work Is Urgent

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Since the Trump administration's sudden decision earlier this month to cut the 2020 census short, reaching out to hard-to-count communities has added urgency. Instead of ending Oct. 31 as had been planned, the counting phase of the census is now set to end Sept. 30.

Census enumerators only began going door-to-door in L.A. County a couple of weeks ago to reach those who haven't responded. L.A. County's current response rate — just under 62% — lags behind both the state and national averages.

Meanwhile, community advocates are walking local neighborhoods, leaving behind information about this year's decennial count.

Roberto Bustillo, co-director with Proyecto Pastoral, a local community group in Boyle Heights says of canvassing:

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"It's like a battle. We had to speed up because we had to ensure that everybody participates."

These community canvassers are completely independent from the Census Bureau, but still feel the pressure of the time crunch. Census data determines everything from political representation to federal dollars for public services that people rely on.


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