SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.— Today, after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the U.S. Census Bureau from including a question about citizenship status on the 2020 Census, County officials urged all county residents to participate in the Census to ensure a complete count in 2020.
“We celebrate today’s decision because the Census is about counting all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration status,” said Supervisor Dave Cortese. “But tomorrow we must get back to work in order to attain our goal of a complete count of all residents. We must intensify our proactive efforts to support county residents in their participation in the Census, including fighting any renewed attempts to add the citizenship question. The stakes are too high not to do so.”
An accurate Census count is vital to ensure county residents receive their fair share of federal funding and representation. The County receives approximately $500 million in federal funds, based on Census data, annually. The funds pay for essential services such as education and health care.
“The only way to ensure equal representation in Washington, D.C., is for every single Santa Clara County resident to be counted,” said Supervisor Susan Ellenberg. “The citizenship question’s exclusion from the Census fuels our efforts to empower individuals to participate in this constitutionally mandated program. All residents, regardless of immigration status, should participate in the Census in order for county residents to enjoy their fair share of federal resources.”
Over the past year, the County has engaged key community stakeholders on educational and outreach strategies that will minimize an undercount. The County of Santa Clara is considered one of the hardest counties in the United States to accurately count in the Census due to its sizable population of hard-to-count residents, which include children under the age of five, immigrants, and residents in high-density housing. The County has made substantial investments in Census preparation and outreach to ensure a complete and accurate count in 2020 and is involved in litigation seeking to protect the rights of all residents to be counted.
“The County of Santa Clara is relieved that the Supreme Court agreed with our position to exclude the citizenship question,” said David Campos, Deputy County Executive who oversees the Division of Equity and Social Justice, which includes the Office of Immigrant Relations. “While the citizenship question is now blocked from appearing on the form, we recognize the Trump Administration has already caused some community members to fear Census participation, and we are ready to continue working as a community to support all residents in participating in the Census. We cannot be deterred by the this or any other Trump Administration attempt to silence our community. Being counted makes us stronger.”
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The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents. With a $7 billion annual budget, dozens of offices/departments, and over 20,000 employees, the County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many others, particularly for those in the greatest need. The County is the most populous in Northern California.About the County’s 2020 Census Efforts
Santa Clara County is considered by the U.S. Census Bureau to be the ninth hardest to count county in the United States due to its sizable population of hard-to-count residents, which include children under the age of five, immigrants, and residents in high-density housing. Therefore, the County of Santa Clara government made an unprecedented local investment in ensuring a complete and accurate count in 2020. The County is pursuing aggressive action to reduce the number of non-response households through programmatic, policy, and litigation efforts.