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CENSUS 2020: Be counted to count!
Published:  April 02, 2020

Santa Paulans reminded to fill out Census forms

By Peggy Kelly Santa

Paula Times

Even with COVID-19 coronavirus dominating the news, Santa Paula City Councilman Andy Sobel is counting on Santa Paulans to prioritize taking part in Census 2020.

“The census in Santa Paula was running below the county average,” Sobel said last week, but as of Monday, 46.5% of area residents were shown to have responded.

According to the Census 2020 website, as of April 6, the Internet response rate for the Santa Paula census was 36.3%, with only about 10% filling in and mailing the paper form or calling it in on smart phones.

No matter how you do it, just do it. Each resident counted means about $2,000 in federal funding to the county, which, in turn, uses it for a variety of programs and projects.

“Right now, one of the most powerful things you can do for our community is to complete the 2020 Census,” said Mike Powers, Ventura County executive officer. “Your participation helps ensure that our community receives the funding it needs and is entitled to for important services and programs. A complete 2020 Census count is vital for our community members in the County of Ventura.”

Ventura County ranks 59th out of 3,000 counties across the United States in terms of largest hard-to-count populations.

“Census data is used to determine how resources will be distributed each year for the next decade to communities throughout the country,” continued Powers. “The results will show where communities need new schools, clinics, roads and services for families, older adults and children. If you are not counted funding could be cut in areas where it is needed most. We can shape the future of our community together. We can make a difference and a huge impact by making sure everyone counts. Join me in completing the Census online, by mail or phone. Let’s make sure everyone is counted. It takes 10 minutes to answer 9 questions that will shape our community for more than 10 years!”

Sobel said the effort in Santa Paula has included aggressive marketing of social meeting, handing out fliers and other means of encouraging participation. Phone banking will soon start and radio spots will be aired to encourage being counted. He noted that the Census is often used for “marketing research for new businesses looking for a location … and the city uses the data as well,” in preparing packages for developers and business. “People can even fill it in on their smart phone, I showed someone how and it took 10 minutes,” Sobel said. “The Census is giving everyone four or five chances to be counted before they send out a human” to knock on the door and offer to help fill out the form. “We have our work cut out for us,” to count everyone said Sobel, “but it really means a lot to our community, all of our community.” To learn more about the Census, visit the county’s website dedicated to making sure everyone gets counted at https.census.ventura.org.