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Morning Briefing: LA, Undercounted

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AltaMed's promotora Estuardo Ardon shuffles around with their mobile census kiosk. (Caitlin Hernandez/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A.

In case you missed it amidst the constant breaking news of late, the U.S. is currently in the throes of the 2020 census. Households across the country are responding so their communities can receive adequate funding for critical resources, such as Medi-Cal, Medicaid, school lunches, highway planning, foster care, and more.

But in L.A., some census workers believe that officials may have prematurely ended efforts to reach thousands of residents, leaving those folks unaccounted for. Melissa Garza, an L.A.-area census supervisor, told my colleague Caroline Champlin that officials gave up on an estimated 30,000 households after only one day of trying to reach them in person.

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“If no one was home, then they closed out the attempt,” Garza said. “Or if somebody had a locked gate, they would close that out, so we wouldn’t go back there again.”

This comes in the middle of an epic back-and-forth between the Trump administration and a group of activists who say that the administration is shutting the census count down too early, leaving underserved communities more likely to be overlooked – and less likely to receive needed federal funds.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie


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Coming Up Today, September 30

As one of the highest paid city managers in California, Tom DeSantis has drawn criticism from Moreno Valley residents after making more than half-a-million dollars after retiring last year. Myra Wu reports for USC's Annenberg Media and KPCC/LAist.

The federal government uses census data to determine funding for Pell grants. Dana Amihere has the story of one local community college student who says a Pell grant helped make a college education possible, which changed her life.

Mike Roe reports on a new book of photography that documents iconic, vintage L.A. locations.

So-called peer respite facilities provide short-term mental health crisis care and are majority-run by peers with lived experience of mental illness. Research indicates they can be a highly effective alternative to hospitalization during crises. Robert Garrova visits one of the two such centers in LA.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

L.A. Kids: The L.A. County Board of Supervisors will allow schools to apply for waivers to resume in-person instruction for students in transitional kindergarten up to second grade. The LAUSD board discussed how to reduce the L.A. School Police budget by 35%. For years, California has funded K-12 schools at rates that lag behind other states — and many educators blame Prop. 13.

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Census 2020: Some census workers have sent an email to a federal court saying there were tens of thousands of early case-closings in the L.A. area.

Money Matters: Disney is laying off 28,000 theme park employees in the U.S.— about a quarter of its domestic workforce.


Photo Of The Day

A child is baptized at an outdoor ceremony at the historic Our Lady Queen of Angels (La Placita) Church.

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(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft, and check LAist.com for updates on these stories and more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

This post has been updated to reflect changes in what's coming up for today.


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