2020 Census: Planners Count!

A Once in a Decade Opportunity:

Every ten years we have a chance to get the critical data we need to plan our communities and guide decisions regarding funding and services. This Census is very different – there is a significant chance of an undercount due the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. We need to get the data right because 2030 is too late!!

There Is So Much at Stake:

Millions of $$$ needed to plan, improve and provide services for our communities are at stake.  As planners, we know the importance of the Census data and see it in real life as we fight this pandemic. We need accurate and complete counts, otherwise we can’t do our jobs well and support our communities.

As planners, the census is an ethics issue. Our AICP Code of Ethics requires us to “seek social justice by working to expand choice and opportunity for all persons, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of the disadvantaged and to promote racial and economic integration. . . .  Even in the best of times it is challenging to  count everyone. In the era of COVID-19, it is even more of a challenge, especially for  the hard-to-count, disadvantaged, elderly, and underrepresented populations in our communities.

Data for Good Planning:

Planners need community data to understand the current and future needs of the communities we serve. We provide the commentary, the historical context, the critical analysis and insight on how to move our communities forward based on census data. We orchestrate the plans and programs that bring the departments, agencies, organizations and neighborhoods together to work for the betterment of our communities.
Planners Need to Be Leaders in the Count.

It is easy to be involved in the census even in these times of shelter-in-place. Here are a few ways you can get involved and encourage others to do the same!

  • Complete your census form today. (https://my2020census.gov/)
  • Reach out to your networks to encourage and help family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers to complete their forms.
  • Volunteer with your local Complete Count committee (https://census.ca.gov/regions/) and help with phone banks, mailers and by adding your planning perspective and expertise.
  • Lend your expertise by providing concrete examples of how daily life is impacted by the Census on your city/county/organization’s media, website and social media platforms.

Let’s work together to ensure that California has a complete count!!