Lawmakers prepare for citizenship question on 2020 Census

California

With the 2020 Census starting in just a matter of months and the Supreme Court deciding on the citizenship question in a matter of weeks, state officials are aiming to get every Californian counted.

“If we don’t count every Californian, California doesn’t get its fair share of funding,” Alex Padilla said.

At the first preparation meeting in Sacramento, Secretary of State Alex Padilla emphasized what’s at stake with the upcoming census.

“Money for education, for housing, for healthcare, for infrastructure,” Padilla said.

According to the Public Policy Institute, California has more immigrants than any other state.

With federal funds and congressional seats on the line, Padilla and other state officials have slammed the Trump administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the Census form.

The Supreme Court is set to decide on this before the end of June.

“We know from prior experience that if there’s a question about citizenship on the census that some people will be discouraged, some people will be intimidated from participating and that undermines the very purpose of the census,” Padilla said.

With or without the question, Padilla says the state plans to push several strategies to count everyone in California from state-wide ads to working with community groups at the local level.

The Mayor of Sacramento, Darrell Steinberg, says it will all come down to trust.

“It requires the right community-based organization and trusted organization to engage and make sure people know they’re being protected and that by being counted they’re not putting themselves at risk,” Steinberg said.

Right now the Census test is underway which surveys about half a million households nationwide — This helps fine tune the process which starts in April.

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