BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — The 2020 census impacts future funding into states and communities like right here in Bakersfield.
The money goes toward infrastructure, schools, and hospitals, but the funding could be cut if people don't participate.
Officials say it's already hard because of the pandemic and now they're also facing a shorted deadline than before-- September 30.
"I think because the census has been shortened by 30 days we hope it doesn't have an impact, but we do feel that it may impact it," said Reyna Olaguez of Adelante Strategies. "So far our response rate is not at where it was ten years ago."
Census volunteers are concerned they may not have an accurate count for the 2020 census.
"We want to make sure we are getting to everyone especially the folks not responding," said Olaguez.
Officials say in years past, they've been able to go door-to-door to make sure everyone is counted. This process makes up the majority of the data collected.
Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, they haven't been able to do it as much.
Now, with a shortened timeline to respond, census workers are hoping to reach as many people as possible.
Dolores Huerta, president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, has been helping to encourage people to fill out the survey through car caravans and more.
"We are going back to door-to-door canvassing and we have about 80 people working right now in Kern, Tulare, and Fresno counties," said Huerta.
"They have shields, masks, goggles, and gloves they are very shielded."
The questionnaire, which takes about 10 minutes to fill out ultimately determines how much federal funding we get for schools, infrastructures, and hospitals.
According to the Census Bureau, as of Monday, only 63 percent of individuals in the U.S. have filled out the 2020 Census and only 58 percent in Kern County.
" I want to make sure we all respond to the census we only have 50 days left or so," said Olaguez.