The census is coming: Tulare County wants everyone counted

The Tulare County Complete Count Committee has been working hard to make sure everyone participates in the 2020 Census.

Leading the charge on the Complete Count Committee are Barbara Pilegard ([email protected]) and Roberto Brady ([email protected])

Letters are being sent out March 12 to invite residents to log into a website and fill out their census form online. Residents can also complete the census form by phone.

Some residents in rural areas who do not receive mail at their homes will be enumerated in person.

The committee wants to spread the message about how important it is for everyone to participate in the census.

It is also educating the public that the letter is not junk mail or a scam and that the website is completely secure.

Residents who still have not done the census will then receive a reminder letter at the end of March and then a follow-up post card in April.

For all those households that do not respond to the letter an enumerator, identifiable by a blue vest and badge, will go door to door to conduct the survey.

The census questionnaire will be provided in 13 languages.

When filling out the questionnaire, residents will be asked for a snapshot of who lived in their household on April 1.

Though April 1 is referred to as Census Day, enumerating households will continue through the summer.

Results of the census are expected in the summer of 2021.

If Tulare County experiences an undercount it will severely impact its receiving its fair share of $650 billion in federal funding for vital programs and its representation in Congress.

The City of Visalia and Tulare County won’t get an accurate count in 2020 unless everyone participates.

Communications Manager of Visalia, Allison Mackey, told the city council Monday night that Tulare County has four “hard to count” tracts, one of the most in California.

These hard to count tracts either fill their census form in late or not at all.

According to Mackey, “Hard to Count communities have been determined by the U.S. Census Bureau as areas that are populated by groups that are historically at risk of being undercounted, based on demographic, socioeconomic and housing characteristics. These communities can be hard to contact and may be reluctant to participate, which puts them at risk of being undercounted.”

One such group that falls into the “hard to count” group are documented and undocumented Hispanics because of the increased fear of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE.

But Mackey said, “It’s important that we share the message that all responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure and protected by federal law. Census responses are only used to produce statistics, and all responses are confidential.”

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