Pasadena Urges Residents to Respond to Census After Feds Cut Deadline Short by a Month

Posted On Jun 12 2021 by

first_imgCommunity News Pasadena Urges Residents to Respond to Census After Feds Cut Deadline Short by a Month Census count determines funding, congressional representation; Tornek says consequences of an undercount are ‘grave’ By BRIAN DAY Published on Thursday, August 6, 2020 | 4:14 pm Pasadena is beefing up its efforts to encourage residents to complete the 2020 Census following an announcement by federal officials that the deadline will be moved forward by a month.The Census Bureau revealed Monday that it planned to stop collecting census responses at the end of September, rather than the October deadline previously established, the Associated Press reported. The deadline was previously pushed back from July due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The move was made so the bureau can meet its year-end deadline to turn in figures used for the allocation of congressional seats, officials said.Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek said the change was “very worrisome.”This year’s census has already seen several challenges, including controversy over a citizenship question federal officials tried, unsuccessfully, to add to the census.“We formed that committee early on and we’ve been working assiduously to try to overcome people’s fears,” the mayor said. “I thought we were doing well, and then the pandemic hit.”Social distancing practices and the distraction of the pandemic, along with its widespread repercussions, presented an additional challenge when it comes to getting a complete census count, he said.“We seem to be challenged at every twist and turn. And then along comes this announcement about trying to accelerate it,” Tornek said.While Pasadena’s census response rates were above the national, state and county averages at 65.7 percent, federal data shows, it was still well being the 71.7 percent rate seen during the previous census in 2010.“We’re still behind where we were 10 years ago at this time,” Tornek said. “It’s worrisome. The stuff keeps piling on.”“We’ve got to do better than that,” he said.The national census response rate as of Thursday was 63.1 percent, according to census data. California’s rate was 64.5 percent, Los Angeles County’s rate was 59.6 percent and the city of Los Angeles’s rate was 53 percent.Tornek said that while he can appreciate the need to meet the deadline for congressional apportionment, “Based on the results today, I don’t think it’s realistic to accelerate the process and I’m very worried about it.”The consequences of a community being undercounted in the census are “grave,” he said.In addition to political representation, the census helps determine where federal funds are sent.“This represents hundreds of millions of dollars to us. It’s a big deal,” Tornek said.City spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said the “once every 10-year civic responsibility” provides officials with data they will use to dole out “hundreds of millions of dollars for healthcare, housing, first responders, schools, and transportation (and) programs used to support our most vulnerable populations,” she said.And this census is a particularly crucial one, Derderian said. “For the first time in history, California is at risk of losing two seats in Congress due to potential undercounts, including one seat for Pasadena’s local representative.”Tornek said he planned to continue reaching out to residents and urging them to take the few minutes required to respond to the census questionnaire.Public outreach and education are the city’s main tools to try to make sure its residents are counted.“If we can alert people and inform them as to the consequences, and how important it is to their self-interest and their community, we should have enough time,” Tornek said.“But this doesn’t seem to make our job any easier,” he added. “This can’t be construed as good news.”Derderian said everyone must be counted in the census, “regardless of citizenship or immigration status.“The household information you provide is completely confidential and cannot be shared with landlords, law enforcement or any other government agency,” she said.For more information, or to get started filling out the census, which can be done in 60 languages, visit 2020census.gov or call (844) 330-2020. 18 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Community News Subscribe faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Donald CommunityPCC- COMMUNITYVirtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPasadena Public WorksPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Your email address will not be published. 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