Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the citizenship question cannot, for now, be added to the 2020 Census. While this is an important step forward, significant challenges remain to ensuring that every person in our community is counted. The fears that have already been ignited by the prospect of a citizenship question still threaten to substantially dampen Census participation. We must work together to ensure that trusted community-based organizations have the resources they need to effectively support a complete count.
The census is used to guide federal funds for critical programs like Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP, Title I grants to schools, and CHIP. California alone receives over $76 million in federal funding based on census data. The challenges facing the 2020 Census are unprecedented from the first online census to federal anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. Ensuring a fair and accurate count of all Bay Area residents will rely heavily on education and on-the-ground outreach by community-based organizations and local governments to encourage residents to participate in the 2020 Census. Today’s decision underscores the critical role of trusted organizations in ensuring an accurate census count.
For the past two years, the Bay Area Census Funders Collaborative has come together to ensure that all Bay Area residents are counted in the 2020 Census. With the leadership of the East Bay Community Foundation, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and NCG, BACFC created regional pooled funds and launched a streamline grants RFP process to support education and outreach to Bay Area communities.
Nonprofits from across the nine-county Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma) have answered the call to action to ensure that every Bay Area resident is counted. BACFC received a staggering 168 applications, totaling $9.5 million in requested funds to support census education and outreach.
Despite significant investment by the local governments, the State of California, and private philanthropy to date, there is a substantial gap between the funds needed to support on-the-ground outreach by trusted organizations and dollars currently allocated for such outreach. BACFC calls upon our partners in the philanthropic community to consider investing or augmenting investments to support a fair and accurate 2020 Census. Join us in being all-in for a complete count!
- Register for the next Bay Area Census Funders Collaborative meeting on Wednesday, July 17 from 9:30-11am at Northern California Grantmakers’ office.
- Contribute to our Bay Area pooled funds that target hard-to-count geographic regions.
- Provide funding directly to non-profit grantees working to encourage full participation, particularly of hard-to-count communities, in the census.
We are grateful to many individual donors and the following foundations who have made donations towards census outreach to ensure that there is a fair, accurate count.
East Bay Community Foundation, The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, The Grove Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, Hellman Foundation, Lesher Foundation, The Libra Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, The Sobrato Family Foundation, Y&H Soda Foundation, Sunlight Giving, Zellerbach Family Foundation.