BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — Organizations in our community are motivating all, especially minorities to participate and fill out the 2020 Census.
On Saturday afternoon, over a dozen cars flooded the streets of the Eastside of Bakersfield dawning signs and balloons saying '2020 Census' and 'We All Count'. Its purpose is to reach undercounted communities in the area.
Participating in the caravan is the activist and labor leader, Dolores Huerta, who shares if communities do not participate they could lose a great deal of funding.
"We want to let these undercounted neighborhoods know that we are waiting for them to participate in the census and that it is really important," Huerta said.
"As of right now many of them have yet called in or submitted their forms and that’s going to be devastating because if they don’t fill out the census they are going to lose millions of dollars."
Historically communities of color like Black, Latino, Sikh, and Filipino have been undercounted in the previous census.
According to census data, this could account for over 600 billion dollars over the next ten years.
The purpose of the caravan according to the volunteers is due to the Eastside's low response rates in the past.
"For each one of us that gets counted that’s 2,000 per person [actually] 2,500, can you imagine that if I say fill out this form and you get 2,000," Huerta said.
Huerta wants to remind the community that the census can be filled out online, phone, and mail.
The U.S. Census Bureau extended the window for field data collection and self-response to October 31, 2020.
The official counts will be delivered to the president by April 30, 2021.
Huerta says she wants the ease the fear of filling out the census.
Huerta has this message for anyone fearful or concerned about filling out the census.
We know there is a fear and we have to say to them that we sued the Trump administration and we won, and there is no question about citizenship at all," Huerta said.
"There are only nine questions to answer and it only takes about ten minutes, and when you do that it brings in thousands of dollars for your family and your community. This is why we need everyone not to be afraid because the census is confidential and they can’t share that information with anyone, not with I.C.E or Homeland Security.
The group then ended their day by taking their message to Lamont.