Local reps weigh in on census

Citizenship question hits home

After months of uncertainty, President Donald Trump Announced July 11 that he would not be placing a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Santa Clara County officials responded by urging everyone who lives here to participate in the decennial census, which plays a crucial role in determining how much federal funding local communities receive for public services. 

The question was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court last week after Chief Justice John Roberts said there was not a clear enough reason to include the question. Trump threatened to use executive action to place the question on the census, but backpedaled a few days later.

Many political leaders feared that adding a question about citizenship may lead to fewer response to the Census. The Census is used to allocate federal funds to communities, and an inaccurate population count would result in less federal money to those areas.

Santa Clara County sent a response following Trump’s announcement on July 12.  According to the release, Santa Clara County is considered the ninth “hardest to count county,” because of a large number of children under age 5, immigrants, and residents in high-density housing. The county has a $8.17 billion annual budget.

Census Day is April 1, 2020. 

David Campos, deputy county executive overseeing the county’s Division of Equity and Social Justice, which includes the Office of Immigrant Relations, said in the release, “With the Trump administration standing down after the Supreme Court’s rebuke, we can now focus fully on the fundamental purpose of the Census: counting everyone. The stakes are too high for us to have anything but a complete count of county residents. 

“While we understand that the Trump administration’s actions have already caused some community members to fear Census participation, the county remains fully committed to working as a community to empower everyone to participate in the Census. Every person deserves to be treated with dignity. Being counted makes us stronger.”

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