By Chamber Chair Celina Zacarias
Every 10 years we have the opportunity to participate in the U.S. Census and stand up to be counted. This year marks the next census. Beginning on Census day, April 1, 2020, and running through the end of July 2020, we have the opportunity to impact the future of our community for the next 10 years.
Census data is used to evaluate each state, county, and community in a variety of ways. From an impact on infrastructure to an impact on local businesses, it is important that we all participate in the upcoming census. Ventura County has been identified as the 59th hardest-to-count county. Meaning that we are likely to be under-counted and therefore underrepresented and underfunded in the years to come.
For every person that goes uncounted, it equates to approximately $2,000 per year in social safety-net benefits that go to fund things such as emergency services, infrastructure, improving schools, healthcare access for infants and children and many other essential social services our community relies on.
The census does not only impact us personally but can have a significant impact on the business community. It is important know that an accurate count is vital to funding for rural business and industry development, job training programs, and other employment programs that impact the economic growth in our county. Census data is regularly used by businesses, developers, and economists to evaluate expansion, and new business ventures within our region. So we want to be sure that our community’s count represents the growing, thriving people we call family, friends, and neighbors.
Additionally, the decennial census data will be utilized to determine the number of votes California has in the electoral college, the number of representatives in the House of Representatives and to potentially redraw State Assembly and Senate district lines. As we all know, having elected officials who believe in our community and support local businesses is important to our continued and future success.
As members of the business community, here are a few practical ways you can help our community be counted:
As the Census approaches, let’s work together to make sure our community is counted and well represented in the decade ahead. If you have any questions about how you can get more involved with the Census effort, you can start by visiting https://venturacountycounts.org.