Philanthropy California Signs 2020 Census Budget Request

Philanthropy California has signed on to the Census Policy Advocacy Network's (CPAN) budget request to support adequate funding for community-based organizations (CBOs) to engage in outreach efforts for the upcoming 2020 Census. CPAN is a diverse coalition of statewide organizations working with policymakers and community leaders to address the need for government investment and sound policies to ensure a fair and accurate count in the 2020 Census.

The budget request urges Governor Brown and the legislative leadership to fund outreach with an additional $95.1 million in appropriations. This request brings the potential total state investment in the 2020 Census to $107.6 million in the 2018-19 budget.

While the Governor’s current proposal of $40.3 million for a statewide outreach program demonstrates a commitment to a fair and accurate count, CPAN notes that recent developments, including the U.S. Secretary of Commerce’s decision to add a question about citizenship to the Census form, makes the Governor’s proposed funding allocation insufficient to achieve the goal of an accurate census count in California.


Proposed Plan for CBO funding (FY 2018-19 and FY 2019-20)


CPAN’s proposed expenditures for CBO outreach includes:

  • $27.9 million for material development and dissemination
  • $26.9 million for community forums and train-the-trainer activities for trusted messengers
  • $16.1 million for communications (including digital campaigns, PSA development, and translation)
  • $12.9 million for questionnaire assistance centers
  • $9.6 million for door-to-door canvassing
  • $3.2 million for phone banking
  • $10.7 million for administrative and overhead costs

CBO outreach would focus particularly on hard-to-count communities.


Hard-to-Count Populations


Historically, hard-to-count (HTC) populations include children (between ages 0-4), urban and rural low-income households, limited English proficient, immigrant and mixed status families, and single parent households. Census experts have ranked California as the “hardest-to-count state” with 10 out of the top 50 HTC counties in the nation. An estimated 14.7 million Californians qualify as hard-to-count and thus are at risk of not participating in the 2020 Census.

CBOs play a crucial role in census outreach as they are trusted messengers with rooted relationships and understanding of the communities they serve. CPAN raises the additional customized approaches that are necessary for CBOs to consider, such as language accessibility in order to reach all HTC populations.

NCG and Philanthropy CA will continue to use our voice to leverage a fair and accurate count for the state of California and the communities that funders support.


Legislative Update


As the Senate and Assembly finalize their respective budget bills and move into legislative conference committee, both houses have made the 2020 Census a priority for the state and proposed to allocated significant state dollars to support 2020 Census efforts. 

The Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review is proposing an additional $95 million for CBO outreach for the 2020 Census.   In total, the Senate is appropriating $135.3 million for the 2020 Census over the next three years.

The Assembly Committee on Budget is proposing an additional $113 million for the 2020 Census, including $95 million for CBO outreach, $12 million for Los Angeles County, and $6 million for Santa Clara County.  In total, the Assembly is proposing to appropriate $153.3 million for the 2020 Census over the next three years.



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