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Read The Column: Why Filling Out That Census Form Is So Important For Angelenos — And Outreach Is Critical

Community volunteers from Proyecto Pastoral raise awareness for the 2020 Census in Boyle Heights in August, 2020, shortly before federal census workers began knocking on doors in L.A. County (Photo illustration by Chava Sanchez, LAist/Photo by Caroline Champlin, LAist)
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This week LAist columnist Erick Galindo headed to Plaza Mexico in Lynwood to chat people up about the 2020 Census. He asked if they'd filled out their census forms, and if anyone had shown up at the door to help them. He writes:

A Latina in a green dress who refused to give me her name said someone came to her house weeks ago to help her fill it out. Maria Delgado from Compton told me something similar. An older Black couple from South Central, Mimi and Joe, said an enumerator helped them, too. An older gentleman from Carson said his wife filled it out online...

Then there was Joaquin from Watts, who said he had not filled out the census, and wasn't sure if his wife had done it for them. A young man named Marcos said maybe one of his roommates filled it out. He wasn't sure. Marian, a young Black woman, told me she didn't fill it out, and wasn't sure if any census takers had knocked on her door.

While many people he ran into had completed the census, it also became apparent that "many of them would not have without the urging of a census taker who went to their home." Like one man, Carlos, who hadn't planned to fill his form out until an enumerator came to the door and helped him.
If it wasn't for that enumerator, I explained to him, California could have lost about $1,000 in federal funds a year for the next 10 years due simply to Carlos not being counted. That's how much money the state stands to lose for each uncounted person. Money that goes to important public services, like Medi-Cal and public schools. California could also lose more representation in Congress than it already stands to.



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