Historic count underway supported by unprecedented state campaign aimed at reaching the hardest-to-count Californians

SACRAMENTO – Starting today, Californians will begin receiving invitations to participate in the 2020 Census from the U.S. Census Bureau. This marks the official beginning of the historic count that will determine the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funding and state and political representation in the next decade.

Every Californian can now respond to the Census online at https://2020census.gov and by phone by calling the numbers included below. California’s Census outreach and media campaign is led by the California Complete Count – Census 2020 Office and comprised of hundreds of regional and statewide partners. The state’s comprehensive outreach and multi-media campaign encourages all Californians to participate in the Census as soon as possible and provides them with culturally sensitive and in-language support.

“Seeing the first invitations arrive in California is an exciting and critically important moment. Beginning today, Californians have the power to shape our state’s future for the next decade.” said Ditas Katague, Director of the California Complete Count – Census 2020 Office. “The Census form is nine easy questions and your responses are protected by law. We need ALL Californians to complete their form so we can ensure representation and resources stay home.”

The invitation includes information on how to fill out the Census form and will include a unique Census ID linked to a physical address. All Californians will be able to respond online or by phone, with limited households initially receiving the paper form. Californians will need to use their customized Census ID to respond online or by phone. Every Californian can now respond to the Census online at https://my2020census.gov and by phone by calling the numbers available below.

In addition, Californians in hard-to-count communities will be able to visit Questionnaire Assistance Centers (QACs) and Questionnaire Assistance Kiosks (QAKs) to receive in-person help filling out their Census form. To locate a local QAC or QAK, Californians can visit our online finder here. For daily operations, hours, and locations, please check our online finder here. Please view the explainer video here.

What Californians Need to Know About the 2020 Census:
The Census is a simple, confidential 9 question surveyQuestions include: name, address, sex, race, ethnicity, age, and whether you own or rent the homeCalifornians should self-identify in regard to race, ethnicity and genderMake sure you count everyone in your home, including any friends or family members who are living and sleeping there most of the timeThe Census Bureau will never ask about your citizenship status, or for sensitive information like your social security number, bank accounts, or payments/donations.The Census Bureau will never reach out to you on behalf of a political partyYour responses to the Census are protected by law and cannot be shared with, or used by, any other government agencies. Answers cannot be used for law enforcement purposes, to determine eligibility for government benefits or immigration enforcementFor more information and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit californiacensus.org.

The invitations out today are the first notices Californians will receive by mail from the U.S. Census Bureau to encourage participation in the Census. Reminder letters will be sent from March 16 through April 3. Two additional reminders will be sent before May, when Census enumerators will begin going door to door visiting homes that have not responded.
Why California’s Participation Counts: 
Ensuring every California household participates in the Census is critically important. Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the Census determines how billions of dollars of federal funding are distributed to each state every year for education resources, affordable housing programs, nutrition and health care services, and more. Estimates show that for every person uncounted, California could lose $1,000 a year for 10 years. That’s as much as $10,000 per person in funds lost over the next decade.The Census also determines the state’s political representation through the number of representatives in the U.S. Congress and the California State Legislature. Participating in the Census can help ensure Californians’ voices are heard in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.