Mobilizing Local Efforts to Maximize Participation in the U.S. Census

To prepare for the 2020 U.S. Census, Long Beach is developing an education, outreach, and mobilization plan that will engage all of its communities. Census data determines federal funding for such vital city services as public safety, health, education, and affordable housing. An inaccurate census leads to underrepresentation and fewer dollars for the most vulnerable communities. In response to the upcoming census, Long Beach has decided to redouble efforts to achieve the most accurate census count possible.

Thus far, the city has begun the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA), a voluntary effort to eliminate gaps in the master file of addresses provided by the Census Bureau. FUSE executive fellow Salem Afeworki will build on this work, reviewing the city’s current efforts and engaging with community stakeholders to ensure progress and enact recommendations, and coordinate with national organizations that have a stake in an accurate census. To avoid duplication, she will engage with Los Angeles County’s census campaign. Salem will test outreach messages for effectiveness, and establishing partnerships and potential funding sources for media campaigns. Ultimately, Salem will help finalize and begin implementation of a comprehensive strategic plan for outreach and education across diverse communities.