County begins preparations for 2020 Census


COUNTY — The County of San Luis Obispo will receive funding to support outreach efforts for the 2020 U.S. Census and help ensure a complete, fair and accurate count locally.

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the County Board of Supervisors supported the County’s participation in the Census and accepted $100,000 in funding for the County’s participation. County staff will convene a Complete Count Committee of representatives from cities, schools and local community organizations to develop a strategic plan for regional activities to increase the census response rate and assist in implementing that plan.

The U.S. Census Bureau is required to conduct an accurate count of the population every 10 years. The County will work with the State of California Complete Count Census 2020 Office to opt-in and receive the funding for marketing and outreach services here locally on behalf of the State. In exchange for the funding, the County will be required to:

  1. Prepare a Strategic Plan for use of the funding and submit it to the State in March 2019;
  2. Participate in monthly in-person meetings or conference calls with the County’s assigned Regional Program Manager;
  3. Prepare quarterly written reports (the first is due April 1, 2019);
  4. Prepare an Implementation Plan for the County’s census efforts; and
  5. Prepare a Final Report.

Census data is used to determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and in redistricting of state legislatures, county boards of supervisors, and city councils. The data is also used to allocate federal funding to states and counties for schools, crime prevention, healthcare, and other public services. The County received about $74.7 million in federal funding in FY 2017-18 and the basis for receiving these federal funds relies, in part, on census data.

County staff will return to the Board to seek direction on a proposed Strategic Plan for the County’s outreach and census efforts this spring, according to a staff report to the Board of Supervisors.

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