LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Angelenos wishing to secure future funding for health care, schools and elderly care have been asked to complete the 2020 census.
The Los Angeles County census response was 58.8% on July 26, behind the 63.6% response rate in California and the county's target of 100% participation. If the response rate does not improve, there is official risk that the district will lose federal funds for emergencies like COVID-19 and have no chance of a revision for another decade.
An accurate count of the county’s population is required because it affects billions of dollars in federal funding that provides patients with access to healthcare, treatment and prevention of substance abuse, schools, support for people who lose their jobs, and services for the elderly.
"We all lose if our residents don't participate," said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of public health in Los Angeles County, in a statement. "If we don't complete the census, we're throwing away money we desperately need to protect the health and well-being of our communities and families."
The county says it is strengthening its public relations campaign by placing posters and flyers at COVID-19 test sites.
Completing the census is private, responses are protected by federal law and cannot be shared with other government agencies or agencies, including landlords. Answering the census does not require U.S. citizenship, although President Trump tried to exclude people who are illegally staying in the U.S. Due to the pandemic, the last day for participation in the census was extended to October 31.
To complete the census, go to my2020census.gov or call 844-330-2020 or email the paper form sent home earlier this year.