Solano County’s census response rate exceeds, so far, the state’sMay 06 2020
Census officials: Jobs still available for Solano census-takers, beginning at $21 per hour, Bureau officials note, as national headcount, amid coronavirus pandemic, extended until Oct. 31
By RICHARD BAMMER | firstname.lastname@example.org | Vacaville Reporter
PUBLISHED: May 5, 2020 at 6:07 p.m. | UPDATED: May 5, 2020 at 6:07 p.m.
When it comes to the 2020 Census, the once-a-decade national headcount, Solano County’s response rate, as of Tuesday, exceeds the statewide rate and likely will exceed the 2010 rate, a Bureau spokesman said.
At the census website, the county rate was nearly 63 percent higher than the California average of nearly 58 percent. The 2010 rate was nearly 68 percent. (All rates get updated daily at noon Pacific Standard Time at https://2020census.gov/en/response-rates.html.)
Overall the Bay Area and Sacramento area are doing much better than the rest of the state, as the online map shows, Jeffrey Enos, the census deputy regional director for the Western states and Alaska and Hawaii, told The Reporter.
Additionally, Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties are ranked eighth through 10th out of the state’s 58 counties. Fairfield is 31st of all cities and towns in California with populations between 100,000 and 300,000, he pointed out.
Enos attributed Solano’s response rate to two factors: 1) “Our census partners,” he said, referring to local governments, community-based organizations, local media outlets and nonprofits. “They help get the word out about why it’s important, why everyone needs to fill out” the census form, either online, by telephone, or by mailing in the paper questionnaire.
“Additionally, there’s an understanding that hundreds of billions of dollars are distributed across the country,” he said, citing, for example, that “Vallejo gets money (grants and federal tax dollars) for its population based on the census count.” The census also determines apportionment, or a community’s representation in the House of Representatives.
His statements come as the “enumeration,” or count, continues until Oct. 31, extended from July 31 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Census-takers, formally called enumerators, are key to getting the most accurate count possible, said Enos.
“In a perfect world, everyone fills out the census form, but, obviously, the world isn’t perfect,” he said, adding, “We need to count everyone, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, living in the United States as of April 2020.”
Noting Solano’s response rate to date, Enos said, “Our goal is to get to 100 percent,” but not everyone responds, which prompts the census-takers to visit households that have self-responded, a process that takes about 10 minutes and does not inquire about a person’s or family’s immigration status.
He again emphasized the importance of everyone responding to the census, as required by law, because “trillions of dollars are at stake (over 10 years),” noting the Census Bureau provides the data to Congress, which then distributes the money to communities for such things as infrastructure projects, public safety, schools, fire departments, and the planning of new homes and businesses, among other things.
Josh Green, an East Bay-based media specialist for the Census Bureau, noted census-takers are still being hired, at www.2020census.gov/jobs.
All area census offices, which are currently closed, are due to reopen June 1, with operations restarting June 13, with the dates subject to change depending on COVID conditions, he pointed out.
Green said the enumerator jobs, coming during the summer, “are going to be in high demand, given everything that’s going on.”
Solano census-takers start at $21 per hour, and with the census ending date currently set at Oct. 31, “There is potential for the jobs to go that long,” he added.