Solano reports better Census response than state, nationApril 24 2020
Daily Republic By Todd R. Hansen
FAIRFIELD — Solano County’s self-response rate to the 2020 Census reached 57.6 percent as of April 21, the Solano Economic Development Corp. reported.
The rate is higher than what is being reported for the state, 52.8 percent, and the national response, 51.6 percent.
“We are very happy with the results we’ve seen so far,” Bob Burris, president and chief executive officer for the EDC and point man for the county’s census work, said in a statement.
Burris said in a phone interview Thursday that most of the county’s cities are actually over 60 percent now.
“Through partnerships with KUIC, local political leaders, business owners and nonprofits, we are working to reach every single person living within our county’s borders, and we have greatly appreciated our local media’s help in getting the word out,” Burris said.
Solano is part of the six-county Region 3 with Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara that is being coordinated regionally through the United Way Bay Area.
Santa Clara and Alameda, Burris said, are two of the highest performing counties in the country.
“That said, the entire Bay Area is dong well . . . except for San Francisco,” Burris said.
The central focus of the county’s work has largely been on those hardest to count areas – for Solano County identified as population tracts in Vallejo and Fairfield. However, the onset of Covid-19 forced a change in strategy, which had included manned information kiosks and community education events.
Burris said because counties such as Solano began their census work a little later than the bigger, more populated counties, it made it a little easier to react to Covid-19. Solano also had more resources unspent.
“So we got together with our committee and the EDC to begin something we do very well anyway, social media,” Burris said.
Also, a KUIC morning radio campaign was started, as well as an email and text campaign with help from McNaughton Newspapers. Then the group hit the streets and began putting up posters and banners on utility poles and other high-visibility areas.
That same strategy will intensify for the hard-to-count areas.
The Census Bureau traditionally hires individuals to go to those households that have not responded online, by mail or by phone, or because a clarification of the information is needed.
“While that process is still planned for later in the year, it has not yet taken place, and affects households who may not have a traditional address, including those living in group quarters like nursing homes, or prisons,” the EDC statement said.
Burris said the last information he received indicated that door-to-door campaign will begin in July or August.
“Our end date is mid-October,” Burris said.
Editor’s note: The Daily Republic is owned and operated by McNaughton Newspapers.