Census count in Santa Clara County determines federal funding

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Santa Clara County’s division of equity and social justice held a photo op following a news conference that celebrated the Supreme Court decision to block the Trump Administration’s bid to include a question about citizenship status on the 2020 census.

“The only reason the citizenship question has been put forward is to keep an under count of communities of color, like the people of Santa Clara County,” said Deputy County Executive David Campos. 

With a population of 1.9 million, 40 percent of whom are foreign born, Santa Clara County is considered by the U.S. Census Bureau to be the 9th hardest to count in the nation.

“We have a huge immigrant population here and a huge undocumented population,” said Nick Kuwada, spokesperson with the Santa Clara County Office of the Census. “A lot of folks are very fearful of the federal government, there is a lot of apathy and for some reason zero to 5-year-olds are very hard to count.”

Santa Clara County receives some $500 million dollars in federal funds, based on census data, annually.  

That money pays for essential services such as education, roads and health care.  An under count would mean fewer services for everybody.

“Vulnerable children and families depend upon vital services that are provided at school each and every day,” said Mary Ann Dewan, the superintendent of schools. 

Matt Mahood with the Silicon Valley Organization says census information needs to be accurate so that good decisions are made on how invest the funds. 

“We need good information to make good decisions about how we invest in transportation, infrastructure and health care dollars that help keep or local economy strong,” he said. 

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