Sacramento –Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1666 which requires the California Complete Count – Census 2020 Office to partner with local educational agencies to make information about the 2020 federal decennial census available to students and their parents at schools. Assemblymember Reyes introduced AB 1666 in response to concerns that California may have difficulties in achieving a full census count due to the intimidation targeting immigrant communities and misinformation about the importance of the census.
“The 2020 decennial census is of critical importance. It is becoming clear that California must take extra efforts to ensure that communities, regardless of ethnicity or resident status, are properly accounted for so that their communities receive their fair share of federal funding.” Assemblymember Reyes continued, “An accurate census must be a priority for all Californians irrespective of political belief as the outcome of the census count determines the amount of federal funding that California will receive related to a variety of programs including education, transportation, housing and healthcare.”
With many hard-to-count areas, communities are looking for safe partners that are trusted by the people living in the area – with schools and places of worship considered the safest.
Esperanza A. Guevara, Census Campaign Manager, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) commented: "A lot of is at stake in the upcoming 2020 U.S census and therefore everyone has a role to make sure our state receives our fair share of resources and political representation. AB 1666 ensures that our public schools play a critical role in providing information to parents and students about the importance of the Census. We thank Assemblywoman Reyes for introducing this proposal and Governor Newsom for signing it into law."
According to the Public Policy Institute, in the most recent year for which an estimate is available (2015), California received about $77 billion in census-related funding—more than 80% of the total federal funds the state received that year. AB 1666 requires families be provided with information regarding the importance of the census. Specifically, information regarding; the privacy protections and policies set forth by the U.S. Census Bureau; community-based resources available to assist with completing the federal census questionnaire, how to access resources provided by the US Census Bureau and any other information the California Complete Count –Census 2020 determines is necessary or convenient to encourage participation in the census.
Because of an urgency clause, AB 1666 became effective as of the date of signing.
Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes represents Assembly District 47 which includes the cities of Fontana, Rialto, Colton, Grand Terrace, San Bernardino and the unincorporated areas of Muscoy and Bloomington.