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Census 2020

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Background

The Census takes place every ten years, as prescribed in the US Constitution.  The data from this count is used to determine how many seats the State of California gets in Congress and how to draw boundaries for congressional districts, state and local legislative districts and school districts.
The Census also guides the distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds to state and local governments annually. These funds are used to support vital programs that impact housing, education, transportation, employment, health care and public policy.  In California, more than 70 federal programs use census data as part of their funding formulas, including the Community Development Block Grant Program, as well as funding for roads, school programs and lunches, children’s health insurance, Head Start and foster care.

Be Counted Novato!

A complete and accurate Count is essential to ensure that Californians gets their fair share of federal resources and Congressional representation.  Many California residents live in areas that may be Hard to Count (HTC) in the 2020 Census based on demographic, socioeconomic and housing characteristics. 

The City of Novato, along with San Rafael, Marin City and unincorporated Marin County, has been identified as containing HTC areas. The top characteristics of Novato’s HTC areas include renter-occupied units, those that have moved recently, children under 5, non-family households, households without broadband subscriptions and multi-unit structures. 

An interactive HTC map is available online

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will the 2020 Census include a question about citizenship?

    The 2020 Census questionnaire will NOT include a question about an individual's citizenship status.   Everyone, regardless of their immigration status, has certain basic rights. Participation is vital, and information is protected.
  • Will my information be kept confidential?

    Yes. Title 13 of the U.S. Code requires respondent’s information to be kept confidential and guarantees personal information will not be used against respondents in court or by a government agency.  Census Bureau staff who have access to personal information are sworn for life to protect confidentiality and are subject to a $250,000 fine and/or up to five years in federal prison for wrongful disclosure of information. Personal census information cannot be disclosed for 72 years (including names, addresses, and telephone numbers).

    Answers cannot be used for law enforcement purposes or to determine personal eligibility for government benefits.  Personal information cannot be used against respondents for the purposes of immigration enforcement.  
  • When is my Census response due?

    Starting mid-March 2020, each household will receive a letter in the mail informing them of the options for filling out the census questionnaire. This includes online, by phone, or by a requested paper form. 

    Households that do not fill out the questionnaire during the self-response period will be contacted by the US Census Bureau (USCB) during Non-Response Follow-Up. 

    March 12-20: Households will receive an invitation to respond online to the 2020 Census. Some households will also receive paper questionnaires. 
    March 16-24: A reminder letter will be sent. 

    If a response is not received: 

    March 26-April 3: A reminder postcard will be sent. 
    April 8-16: A reminder letter and paper questionnaire will be sent. 
    April 20-27: A final reminder postcard before the USCB follows up in person. 

    United States Census Bureau enumerators may contact households that submit partially filled-out questionnaires in an effort to obtain complete answers.
  • How can I respond to the Census?

    You can respond to the Census online, by mail, by phone or at a community run assistance center. 
  • Should I count my baby or young child?

    Yes!  Parents should count all children, including babies, on census forms- even if they are still in the hospital on April 1.  
  • What programs rely on Census data for funding?

    The top 10 Census-guided federal programs are:

    • Medi-Cal
    • Supplemental Nutritional Assistance (SNAP)
    • Medicare
    • Highway Planning and Construction
    • Section 8 Housing
    • Title 1 Grants to Local Education Agencies
    • National School Lunch Program
    • Special Education Grants
    • State Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP)
    • Head Start / Early Head Start
  • How can I get involved?

    The County of Marin has contracted with Canal Alliance to coordinate countywide census outreach activities to ensure a complete count for Census 2020 in Marin.  Advocacy and Policy Manager Stephanie McNally can be reached at stephaniem@canalalliance.org or (415) 306-0415.  More information on Marin Census 2020 is available at marincensus2020.org.  
 

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