Last Saturday, April 14, our group completed a LUCA – Local Update of Census Addresses – training and service opportunity with the City of San Jose as part of a larger months-long process leading to the 2020 Census.
From now till the distribution of the 2020 Census, cities, townships and other municipalities are working collaboratively with their respective counties (or boroughs) to elicit community participation in the updating of addresses for the purposes of the Census.
Why is the Census important?
The Census is mandated in our United States’ Constitution. Every 10 years, the Census is taken to inform ourselves on the Country’s population growth, provides useful demographic information and data, and is also the guide for redrawing governance lines that impact each of us. The Census Bureau is already submitting its intended 2020 Census Questionnaire to Congress (read more).
When critical public issues and needs hit us on a local, personal level, illustrating the need and explaining the “why” becomes much easier.
During the 2010 Census, the City of San Jose underreported its population by an estimated -70,000 residents. This underreporting turned into a yearly loss of -$20 million in Federal funding to the City of San Jose – over a 10-year span that amounted to -$200 million in funds that could’ve gone toward public, social and community programs for everyone. Including supporting our community centers, nutrition and wellness programs, maintaining after school programs, and many more health and human services.
This underreporting was due to a combination of factors. But not factors that are necessarily specific to San Jose, as the Census count issues our City was faced with are a statement of the times we’re living in.
The City of San Jose identified that the 2010 Census undercounting was attributed to not having mailing addresses for the non-traditional housing units (in-laws, add-ons, converted garages, trailers and tiny homes built on larger lots) throughout the City.
With rising housing and living costs in the world’s innovation and technology Capital – many residents are forced to make economic decisions, that in this context, impact their residences.
The LUCA process helps address this.
As part of our LUCA training, we were trained on using the Census Bureau’s tool to capture and update addresses for every type of non-traditional housing unit that might not otherwise have a mailing address, to ensure that everyone receives their 2020 Census Questionnaire.
To make sure that everyone is included in this Census, to the best we can, LEAD Filipino is coordinating with its organizers, interns, volunteers and community members to involve as much of the public as we can, in the City’s LUCA efforts.
We’ll be training and walking through San Jose again on Saturday, May 12th from 9am-12:30pm.
If you can join us, please sign up 5/12 LUCA Training Sign Up.