Solano’s census work wrapping up; end date for door-to-door count not clear

September 11 2020

Daily Republic By Todd R. Hansen

FAIRFIELD — Solano County continues to outpace the state for Census 2020 registration, and has exceeded the response from 2010.

“Our initial thought was to be better than the last Census,” said Robert Burris, president and chief executive officer for the Solano Economic Development Corp., which headed the local effort.

“And personally, I wanted to be well above where the state was as a whole,” Burris said.

Solano County has registered 72.1% of its residents, up from the 2010 response of 67.2%. The state is at 67.9%. The response nationally is at 65.5%, Burris reported.

The number puts Solano at 11th among the state’s 58 counties, and the Bay Area counties represent six of those top 11.

Benicia leads the city response at 81%. Vallejo has the lowest response at 68.6%.

Burris said as far as the county’s Census operation, it is winding down in favor of the door-to-door count, which comes directly under the Census Bureau’s authority.

There are some special events still scheduled, such as the Tri-City NAACP’s Census and Voter Registration Outreach Pop-Up events set Sept. 19 at nine locations in Fairfield and one in Vacaville.

Burris said the county is supplying its volunteers with Census materials as well as Covid-19 protective gear and other safety measures. He said the operation also supports, to some degree, the Census Bureau’s door-to-door enumerators.

He said he had a neighbor who had one of the bureau workers show up, and described the effort as quick and easy. The person stands a safe distance from the door, asks a few questions and records the information into a phone.

What is unknown is how long those workers will have to finish their work.

While the Trump administration unilaterally moved the Census deadline from the end of October to the end of September, that action has been challenged in courts across the country.

Burris said he does not think the earlier deadline will make that much difference for Solano County, but admits the extra time would likely result in more residents being counted.

“Any incremental increase is a positive for accuracy,” Burris said.

While Burris said he does not know exactly what percentage of residents in the fire area had already self-registered, he knows that it was not an area that the Census Bureau identified as needing a lot of door-to-door attention, so he thinks the count of displaced residents is probably pretty good.

The Census count determines congressional representation and how federal dollars are distributed.

Tri-City NAACP pop-up locations

The Census count and voter registration events will occur from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 19. Volunteers will meet at Bethel Community Church, 600 E. Tabor Ave., Fairfield, for several pop-up locations:

• St. Stephen CME Church, 2301 Union Ave., Fairfield.
• JJ Fish Market, 1791 N. Texas St., Fairfield.
• La Favorita Market, 1950 N. Texas St., Fairfield.
• Crowley Lane, 1350 Crowley Lane, Fairfield.
• Allan Witt Park, 1741 W. Texas St., Fairfield.
• Grande Circle, 1990 Grande Circle, Fairfield.
• Broadway, 905 Broadway St., Fairfield.
• Bristol, 1189 Tabor Ave., Fairfield.
• 1240 Dana Drive, Fairfield.
• 1040 E. Monte Vista Ave., Vacaville.

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