Census planning gears up for April 1, outreach to communities

February 05 2020

Daily Republic, 2/5/20 By Todd R. Hansen

FAIRFIELD — The Solano County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday received an additional $30,550 from the state Government Operations Agency to help fund additional community outreach for the 2020 Census.

The original allocation in February 2019 was $145,572, bringing the total to $176,122.

Another $80,000 will be allocated to United Way Bay Area, which serves as the Administrative Community Based Organization for the state’s Complete Count efforts, a staff report to the board states.

Those efforts specifically call for:

• Establishment and production of Questionnaire Assistance Centers, which are manned, and Questionnaire Assistance Kiosks, which only provide written information. This includes the printing and production of Solano County’s informational kits. There will be approximately 15 locations.
• Dispersal of funds locally to nonprofit and community organizations, through a Request for Proposals micro-grant program that targets gap-areas in Solano County’s outreach. Gap areas are areas in the community where the level of current outreach does not match the level of the hard-to-count population. At this time, gaps have been identified in Vallejo.
• Continued work with the Solano Economic Development Corp. and Solano County to identify other community outreach assistance needs over the course of the next few months.

It was in February 2019 that the county contracted with the Solano Economic Development Corp. to lead the census outreach for the county and the seven cities. The organization’s executive director, Bob Burris, heads the Complete County Committee.

The committee includes representatives from the county, headed by Matt Walsh, principal planner for Department of Resource Management. Health care centers, nonprofits and Census Bureau officials also take part.

The committee has held several planning and strategic sessions to determine the best locations for the census centers and kiosks that will engage with the hard-to-count populations.

April 1 is Census Day, though material has already been sent out. Responses can be made online, by phone or by mail between March and July.

“People who do not complete the census by April 30 will be visited by a Census Bureau worker between May and July. The goal is to encourage everyone to respond online, by phone, or by mail by the end of April,” the staff report states.

In other action, the board:

• Recognized Stacey Brooker, eligibility benefits specialist, upon her retirement from the Department of Health and Social Services, Employment and Eligibility Services Division, after more than 21 years with Solano County.
• Recognized Daniel F. Rhoads, library associate, upon his retirement from the Department of Library Services, after more than 15 years with Solano County.
• Recognized Theda Peck, with the County Counsel’s Office, as “Employee of the Month” for February.
• Approved a $1.17 million amendment to the contract with Caminar Inc. to expand Wellness and Recovery Center programming and extend the contract through June 30, 2021. It brings the total contract to $1.546 million.