CPCA Partners with California Complete Count Census 2020
Every 10 years, as required by the Constitution, the U.S. government undertakes a systematic effort to count the population – culminating in a snapshot of the nation, states, and communities across the country.
For hard-to-count California, the 2020 census poses huge challenges and carries big stakes, therefore it is imperative that our state successfully count all residents as part of the upcoming Census 2020. For example, California must reach more than 13.5 million households to raise awareness of the 2020 Census and motivate the hardest-to-count individuals to respond. We recognize that many factors lead to making California the nation’s hardest-to-count state in the country. For example, California’s hard-to-count populations include high number of immigrant individuals, residents with limited English proficiency, a high number of renters and multiple-family households with children 5 and under, homeless people, and those with limited access to technology. For the first time, this census is expected to be conducted, for the most part, electronically. The results from the census will help to advocate for more resources to underserved communities, many of whom are served by community health centers, and guide allocation of more than $800 billion in federal funding to programs that are crucial to the wellbeing of families and communities.
That is why, CPCA was awarded $250,000 by California Complete Count 2020, to conduct Census 2020 statewide work. California’s community health centers serve and have access to nearly 7 million Californians and are trusted sources of information, which uniquely positions them to be trusted messengers to hard-to-count populations about the importance of being counted in the upcoming census. Ensuring an accurate count of California residents is essential for a number of reasons, and health centers can play a critical role in supporting preparation, education, and engagement of their communities.
Through a partnership with California Complete Count Census 2020, CPCA will work with 12 consortias to provide education, regional outreach and trainings, technical assistance and questionnaire assistance to community health center (CHCs) patients and communities statewide. CPCA and consortias will also work together to develop a toolkit to be utilized within the wider health sector. The toolkit and educational resources will aim to help consortia and members of the health sector have educated and meaningful conversations with important audiences who can positively impact the results of the 2020 Census – including patients, health providers, promotores/health workers, elected officials, and members of the media.
To further leverage health centers’ position as safe spaces in their communities, CHCs across the state will work with local partners and coalitions to incorporate census outreach activities into existing health center community outreach events and daily operations. These include community health fairs, placing posters and signage in waiting rooms and break rooms, distributing flyers to patients, sharing information on social media platforms and websites, running informative Census 2020 videos dubbed in multiple languages in health center lobbies, and working with local media to engage partners into building and weaving coverage. CPCA will lead the statewide project and monitor consortia activities.
Given the size of our network and the number of people health centers are able to reach, CPCA and consortia working together on this important joint project have the potential for widespread impact on health center patients and other key stakeholders throughout the state. Many of the most important decisions made by government are based on the information that is provided by the decennial census and its interim community survey, and CPCA recognizes the critical role it plays in guaranteeing equal representation for all.